Council approves budget

Mt. Laurel Council approved the tentative 2013 budget, which includes approximately $26 increase in taxes per year or $6,512 for the average assessed home of $142,200.

According to township manager Maureen Mitchell, the township is seeing a $64.8 million decrease in ratables for 2013 and the township is using more fund balance this year to help offset the loss in ratables.

“We have to use more surplus in order to balance to budget,” she said, adding the township is using 85.8 percent of the surplus for 2013 compared to 92.6 percent of the surplus in 2012.

Mitchell said profits such as the liquor license and other one-time revenues were put into the surplus.

“We are using a greater amount, but a lesser percentage,” she said.

In 2012, Mt. Laurel generated $6.2 million in surplus and will use $5.6 million for the 2013 budget.

“But we do have more than what we did in the past,” she said.

Mitchell said if more one-time surpluses appear in 2013, those revenues would be added.

She said the township should try and avoid using more surpluses than generated for upcoming years.

Mitchell presented a tax breakdown to council. She said 5 percent goes to the fire district, 13 percent for municipal, 38 percent for the local schools, 26 percent for the regional schools, 1 percent for the library, 2 percent for open space and 15 percent for the county.

Council also approved four resolutions signing contract agreements between unions.

“Every union is currently under contract in the township. The next one to come up is the police. They will come up at the end of the year,” Mitchell said.

The final adoption will take place during a public hearing on Monday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at the administration building, 100 Mt. Laurel Road.