Introduced municipal budget holds tax increase

Haddonfield residents may see an increase in municipal taxes again this year.

Commissioners approved the introduction of the $15.5 million municipal budget at the Tuesday, March 26 meeting with a 1.32 percent increase over last year’s budget.

An average assessed home of $491,359 will experience an $89 increase in taxes, Commissioner Jeff Kasko said.

State funding is anticipated to be flat, at $981,000, for the third consecutive year, according to a budget document.

Mayor Tish Colombi urged the public to attend upcoming budget talks to have any questions answered.

“They are very informative,” she said. “The attendance has been disappointing over the past four years.”

Commissioners will hold a public hearing and final adoption of the budget at the Tuesday, April 23 meeting, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall.

The Partnership for Haddonfield’s Business Improvement District budget was also released at the meeting. There is a slight increase of $570 over last year’s budget, for a total budget of $300,570.

Of the seven categories of appropriations, marketing and public relations is most heavily funded, with $136,620 compared to $15,000 toward the Information Center, which operates on a limited schedule.

In other business, commissioners authorized a resolution to allow for two Ford Crown Victoria police cars to be auctioned online. The move will provide the best financial result, Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said.

“From time to time, we have things we no longer need,” she said.

One of the police cars will be replaced in this year’s budget, Commissioner Ed Borden said.

The terms of the agreement can be found on www.publicsurplus.com or at Borough Hall, a document said.

An ordinance was adopted on first reading to amend the code of merchandise displays.

Balloons will be banned from being displayed on store exteriors, Colombi said.

The Haddonfield Green Team officially had its name changed to Sustainable Haddonfield.

“It ties in with Sustainable New Jersey,” Neil Rochford, co-chair of the group, said. “We’re working on our silver certification at this point.”

Additionally, a campaign code of ethics was authorized for the upcoming commissioners election in May.

Candidates take the fair campaign pledge in each election, Colombi said.

There are three agreements within the pledge, including identifying all sources of advertisements and campaign literature published or distributed, using endorsements only with the permission of the endorser and making a copy of all campaign reports available at the Haddonfield Public Library, as required by law.

“I’m sure they will be happy to comply,” she said.

The Tuesday, April 9 meeting will be held at Indian King Tavern, honoring the tricentennial. Seating is limited to the first 40 people in attendance and the night will hold much historic flair, officials said.