Tabernacle Township Committee hopes to finally adopt 2016 municipal budget on June 1

Tabernacle Township Committee will hold a public hearing on changes to its 2016 municipal budget on June 1 in hopes of finally adopting the budget after months of discussions.

The committee will be voting to cut what was originally a 4-cent tax rate increase for township residents to a 2-cent increase. The original township municipal budget was tabled at the committee’s April 25 meeting. Changes to the budget were discussed in May, and last Monday, the township committee held the first reading of the amendments to its budget.

Some small cuts were made to the budget to help facilitate the lower tax increase, according to Tabernacle Township administrator Doug Cramer.

“Legal services and engineering were both reduced by $2,000 each,” Cramer said. “Gasoline and fuel were reduced by $15,000.”

The amendments include the use of $105,000 of surplus funds to help balance the budget. The township is also electing to defer $160,000 worth of school taxes. Townships are permitted to use collected school taxes not yet due to be paid to the local schools districts to help balance the municipal budget.

One cosmetic change in the budget includes the shifting of categories for the Tabernacle Fire Company. The original budget had $150,000 listed under the “aid to volunteer fire company” category. That amount was decreased to $90,000 in the amendments, with the other $60,000 moved to a new category named “fire department other expenses.”

Tabernacle Township Committee is trying to put the finishing touches on the budget after months of discussion. In March, the committee was presented with two options for the budget. One included no tax increase and no school tax deferral, but numerous budget cuts. The other included a tax increase and use of school tax deferral, but much fewer budget cuts. On April 25, township committee tabled the proposed budget to try to find ways to lower the 4-cent tax rate increase further.

If the amendments are adopted, the new municipal budget amount will decrease to $4.11 million. The original adopted budget had a total amount of $4.13 million.

The special meeting to adopt the budget will begin at 6:30 p.m. on June 1 at Tabernacle Town Hall.

In other news:

Township committee is making changes to its meeting schedule for June and July. The committee’s meeting on June 27 has been canceled. The meeting on June 13 will be the township’s action meeting for the month. In July, the township committee is shifting its action meeting from July 25 to July 18. All of the meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m.