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Small Tax Increases in Fire District Budgets

The polls open at 2 p.m. Saturday. Read on to find out where and what you're voting for.

Both of Moorestown's fire districts impose only minor tax increases in the budgets that will go before voters on Saturday.

The total budget for Fire District 1 is $2.27 million, of which $1.77 million will be raised by taxation—an increase of just $767 from 2012, according to administrator Chris Chesner. 

Additionally, two people are running for two open seats on the board of fire commissioners: incumbent Charles Schuster and Bradley J. Kenney.

Over in District 2, voters will be asked to OK $702,612, an increase of $6,374 (or 0.9 percent) from 2012, said administrator Liz Booth.

Three people are running for two open seats on the District 2 Board of Fire Commissioners: incumbent Jacqueline M. Grant and newcomers William F. Ruggiano and Jonathan Tabaco. The terms are for three years.

Voters in District 2 will also be asked to approve the repaving of the parking lot of the Lenola Fire Station at a cost not to exceed $70,000, as well as the purchase of a replacement vehicle for the fire official at a cost up to $38,000. Funding for both expenses will be provided from the unrestricted reserve fund balance, Booth explained.

Due to the fact that the township just went through a reassessment, the exact tax rate for each district can't yet be calculated, since it will likely change as a result of the reassessment.

The polls open at 2 p.m. Saturday and close at 9 p.m. District 1 votes at the firehouse on Main Street, while District 2 voters should head to the Lenola Fire Hall on Lenola Road.

For more information about the District 1 budget, visit their website or check out the attached PDF. 

Nats February 14, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Ugh! Please No more Taxes!! Hopefully, the town council doesn't raise any taxes.. When's the next budget meeting for that? How about the BOE? Cut taxes for once!
Andrew Wallace February 14, 2013 at 01:39 PM
The property tax rate in Moorestown has been increased from 1.99% to 2.28%. This is a 15% increase. The reason the tax rate has been raised substantially is becasue the property values in Moorestown have decreased an average of 15%.
Nats February 14, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Hi A&W. we need to stand up for no new taxes. Enough is enough! We love this town, we moved here for what a great town that it is. How do we stop these taxes from the constant escalation? Can gov Christie do anything to help us? Who are our assembly candidates? What proposals do they have? When are all these budget meetings so we residents can ask questions, and maybe some way they could cut taxes? How do people put up with this?
Ace February 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Vote NO on Saturday. That's how you stand up for no tax increase.
Stop the insanity February 14, 2013 at 02:33 PM
The fire district tax increase is nothing compared to the 4-5% increase the BOE is going to do this year. They are working around Christie's 2% cap with a method called banking the cap. BOE's budget represents 2/3's of your property tax. So while your salary stays flat, the teachers will get a 3-5% bump in pay going into contract negotiations. Also, you've lost the right to vote this budget down. So now 42% of town saw their taxes raise due to the re-val and the whole town will see their taxes increase due to the BOE's penchant for spending.
Nats February 14, 2013 at 03:40 PM
How about at the state level? Who are our assembly candidates ? Do they want taxes increases too? Gov Christie is doing a great job and thanks him for putting that cap on the BOE. But how can they circumvent that law? Are we taxpayers in Moorestown going to be taken to the showers, and go around Christie's cap? Don't go there BOE! Who's the bow candidates this year ? Nice campaign slogans out of this? What does last years candidates that got in think? Mr Pugh? Mr winestones ? Sheryl? Doesn't anyone care to stop this " insanity"?
SteveS February 14, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Nats, Call Troy Singleton and Herb Conway your reps in the assembly. They are blocking a bill that has bi-partisan support in the Senate that eliminates the 2% cap loopholes that are being used to raise our taxes. These two assemblymen need to be replaced in November.
A Belfan February 14, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Why does Moorestown have 2 fire districts and double the salaries, pensions and taxes?
Nats February 14, 2013 at 05:29 PM
S squared, how do we vote herb and Troy out if they are really doing that? Who are their two Republican competitors for Assembly? Could Gov Christie help find good candidates for assembly? Maybe he could come down here and give some speeches? Since there are council races could our council people help find good candidates for assembly? They seem to be working well for us.
SteveS February 14, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Nats, I agree Council is working well together. As to your other questions, I don't know. What I do know is Troy Singleton thought so much of Moorestown that as soon as he swore Newcomer in he promptly left to go home and watch a football game. Where as Diane Allen and Jon Runyan stayed a met with their constituents for close to 90 minutes after last month's Council Re-Org. Singleton and Conway could care less about Moorestown.
NoComment February 14, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Why are so many people letting your contempt from the devaluation of the homes jade your overall thinking of everything? A $767 increase. That is spread out over ALL of District 1. There are probably what, 5000 homes and businesses in District 1? How much is this really going to affect you? Instead though you are going to go vote no to the entire budget over 15 cents? If you have questions or concerns regarding the budget, have you been to a Fire Commissioner Meeting? to say there are more vehicles than what the fire department needs is a rather ignorant statement don't you think? Do you really think they would purchase these trucks just to take to parades? Do realize that if the districts did not have the equipment they have that in turn your homeowners insurance goes up?
Nats February 14, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Thanks "no comment". Now it would be voting yes for a. 15 cent increase? Thanks for the explanation on the vehicles as well.
A Belfan February 14, 2013 at 06:23 PM
That is an outrage. please post this bill? Is Diane Allen supporting it?
Deeply Concerned February 14, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Stay classy SS. Just another cog in the Burlington County GOP machine. How soon until CC announces for Assembly?
SteveS February 14, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Not really a cog. I just want to give our governor people he can work with in the legislature to enact laws that will lower our property taxes. Thanks for the reminder on the classy part, I'll try harder. Enjoy Kindness Week.
Voice of Reason February 14, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Moderate, Moorestown could buy 10 snow plows. Then pay workers overtime to drive them. Is that the cost savings you would prefer? I don't know much about fire trucks or how insurance is related, but I know if my house is burning down, I want the fire trucks to work properly. I have not been to a BOE meeting or a Fire district meeting lately, but my kids are learning in safe schools and the fire district is asking for 15 cents more. That ain't bad.
Lenola Rocks February 14, 2013 at 08:15 PM
As we complain, I just read on Cinnaminson Patch their Fire Districts are not raising taxes at all. The difference is their budget is seven hundred thousand more than ours. Yea, take a look for yourself.   http://cinnaminson.patch.com/articles/fire-district-budget-election-saturday
Tom February 14, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Has everyone lost their minds? In the other Patch story, the township wants to spend $15K for a technology audit that may or may not cost us more in annual costs but we should vote no to $1,300 over 7,500 homes for 2 volunteer fire departments to have equipment to save lives? BOE's 'penchant for spending' ? If teacher salaries rise along with benefit costs, how do you pay for them? Are you suggesting that salaries for the police, public works and management officials isn't going up this year?
Rob Scott (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Tom, Just to clarify, any recommendations that may come out of the technology audit are just that—recommendations. The township has no obligation to implement any of them (and the audit isn't even underway yet).
Voice of Reason February 14, 2013 at 09:08 PM
I agree totally with regards to your fire dep numbers. A grand total of 7,100.00 over two fire districts is nothing. Especially when you consider Lenola Rocks point that Cinnaminson spends 3/4 of a million more while having roughly 30% less population. I think we should be thankful for the people who volunteer to be firemen/women.
Tom February 14, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Mr. Scott, thank you for clarifying my comment. I do understand nothing is spent yet but to attack the fire departments for a such a nominal amount when upwards of $20 million or more has been spent on all kinds of pet projects is an insult to the volunteers who live here and contribute so much to our community including I imagine paying local taxes.
Poggop February 14, 2013 at 09:36 PM
That's what happens when you vote 3 democrats to the BOE! Is the 19 year old kid going to stop the tax increase?... Moorestown gets what they voted for...
Voting District 12 Exile February 14, 2013 at 09:47 PM
To make Mr. Moderate feel better, District 1 already has a plan in place to NOT replace the oldest pumper in its fleet when it reaches the end of its service life with the district next year. They already realize that in this day and age when fewer and fewer people volunteer, that getting a third-level vehicle (I.E. on most responses it is the last truck out of the building) is difficult if not impossible, and the automatic mutual aid pacts with District 2 and surrounding towns helps with additional needs. Cinnaminson's budget is larger because in addition to the support staff that both Moorestown districts have, they also have paid Firefighter/EMT's on staff. Neither district in Moorestown has that - can you imagine the size of the budget and subsequent taxes that would have to be raised if we did? And, having been one of those people who volunteered, I can assure you that ALL of the apparatus get used at one time or another, at more than just the Christmas and other parades.
Tom February 14, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Mr. Poggop, can you explain what you are talking about? Has the BOE even submitted a budget yet; for that matter has anyone but the fire dept. done so? Further, how does voting for Democrats on the BOE or Republicans for council raise taxes ? As I previously posted, are any of the government agencies immune to rising salary and healthcare costs? Do you know something that the rest of us don't or do you enjoy stirring the pot?
NoComment February 15, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Part of what your insurance company uses to determine the premiums for home owners insurance in a given township is the ISO/PPC rating which basically grades the fire departments, with large portion of that grade being based on the vehicles that the department has. http://www.iso.com/Products/Public-Protection-Classification-Service/Fire-Suppression-Rating-Schedule-FSRS-manual-for-PPC-grading.html
Voting District 12 Exile February 15, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Ditto to what NoComment said, I was mid-type when he/she posted and was going to reference the ISO. The loss of this engine should not have a negative impact on the department's ISO rating. The decision, for the enlightement of all, was formulated more or less over a year ago, to wit: http://moorestownfire.org/htmlfiles/documents/2012Newsletter.pdf
Voting District 12 Exile February 15, 2013 at 04:19 PM
This is one of those questions that is tantamount to asking what time it is and getting an answer that tells you how to build a watch. It started in 1879, and District 2 came into being in 1925, with modifications being made from time to time. http://ecode360.com/10345507
Voice of Reason February 15, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Snow should be removed in exactly the way it is currently done. The most busy roads first and the least busy last. If you find it dangerous to drive in the snow, you are doing it wrong, and probably going faster than you should. Honestly, side streets and most residental roads (besides bus routes) should be put off until the main roads are finished completely. IMHO.
NoComment February 15, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Just to clarify I was not saying you were ignorant, but rather the idea that the only time all the trucks are used is during the Christmas Parade. Yes as was stated earlier I am aware they are looking at not replacing one of the engines, but I don't think they would have agreed to that if it were to have had an affect on the rating.

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