Budget meeting planned

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun

Borough commissioners have put out a call for borough residents to attend a preliminary meeting for any taxpayer who has a question about the 2010 budget.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at borough hall.

The $13.9 million budget — minus grant expenditures — increased by $80,000 over the 2009 budget.

The tax rate was bumped up to 42.39 cents per every $100 of assessed property value, an increase of 2.9 cents from 2009. The average assessed home in the borough of $491,359 will see an increase of about $156 from their 2009 tax bill. The total local tax bill for the average assessed home is about $2,083.

It will be an open meeting for residents to attend and ask any question they have regarding the document or how it was crafted, Kasko said.

“People may ask where the money is going, what it is costing us. If people want further explanation or further detail, we provide that in the meeting,” Kasko said.

It’s just another way the commissioners and borough leaders want to make the budget more transparent to taxpayers, Kasko said.

It’s important for the taxpayers to understand where their money is going, how it’s being used, what it is funding, and what goes into crafting a budget, he said. Actually having an explanation about the mandated state costs and other costs the borough can’t control is clearer than reading about it in a budget message, he said.

“Governments talk about being transparent, being more accountable, but I think this is a way we can make people see that we’re being more open, more transparent, and more forthcoming with the budget,” Kasko said. “I want people to have accurate answers about their questions. It’s not always as clear as you think when you look at our revenues and appropriations.”

A public hearing and adoption will be held for the budget at the Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 27.

Residents can view the entire budget document on the borough’s Web site at haddonfieldnj.org.