The perfect storm

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Moorestown Sun

Moorestown’s ratables are down, and as a result, taxes are going up.

Even though the Moorestown Board of Education approved a budget that calls for the smallest increase in the overall tax levy in 25 years, residents with an average assessed home will still see their school tax bills increase by more than $100 next year if voters approve the budget. District school officials attributed the phenomena to the declining ratables in the township over the previous year.

According to Mayor Dan Roccato, ratables are down about $49 million from last year. Ratables have declined because of three factors, he said, which have attributed to the “perfect storm” type situation in the township.

“First, as you probably know, we’re in a recession. Property values are down. You have a macro environment economy that has been very unfriendly to local towns. Compounded with that, Moorestown did a tax revaluation reassessment, and it resulted in a series of appeals,” he said. “Some of the appeals you lose, and that affects your ratables. It’s the perfect storm.”

Lastly, Roccato said Moorestown received the highest percentage cut of state aid for any municipality in Burlington County. The township had its state aid cut by 4 percent, he said, which led to the overall decrease in ratables as well.

See this week’s print edition of The Sun for the full story.