HomeTabernacle NewsChief financial officer expects possible increase in Tabernacle taxes

Chief financial officer expects possible increase in Tabernacle taxes

A property tax increase may be on the horizon as Tabernacle faces engineering costs, funding for public works and costs for Woodland Township’s municipal court services.

Chief Financial Officer Rodney Haines addressed a proposed 2020 municipal budget at the March 9 township committee meeting that totals about $5,222,530 as of deadline. Haines expects to raise taxes past the 2 percent cap, to 3 percent.

- Advertisement -

The assessed average value of a home in Tabernacle was estimated by Haines to be around $265,000. A tax rate increase of 3 percent amounts to an average annual increase of roughly $79.50.

Haines added he will ask the committee to adopt a cap bank ordinance to go beyond 1 percent because of hard costs from 2019 that were approved and later spent.

A capital improvement or funding plan has not yet been finalized as Haines continues to field responses from the committee. He expects to utilize 67 percent of the surplus fund to balance the budget.

The committee expressed interest in scrutinizing every line of the budget to review what needs to be cut or funded. But Committeeman Bob Sunbury erred on the side of caution in discussing the budget at a meeting since it can be a lengthy process, while Deputy Mayor Joe Barton advised keeping it public so the community remains informed.

“Highlight the areas of which you’d like to discuss at the next workshop meeting, and we will take every concern everyone has,” he promised.

Appropriations in the proposed budget come from a shared services agreement with Woodland’s court, a public works department that needs an aerial lift for tending to trees and engineering costs for Oakshade Road and use of the Burlington County Community Development Block Grant for a chair lift at town hall.

Township Administrator Doug Cramer explained the aerial lift is needed because the township has a responsibility to care for the trees that line its roads and right-of-ways.

“We’re constantly maintaining our roads and trying to keep trees back away from roads so trucks do not have to swerve to go around limbs,” Cramer said. “We’re presently doing that with the dump truck and pull saw, which is not safe at all.”

The lift would be equipped with a power saw and a hydraulic system to keep the person in the basket safe. Cramer added the lift will have other uses during heavy snow, storms and debris cleaning.

Costs for Oakshade Road engineering and use of the development grant for the chair lift equal approximately $160,000.

The silver lining for the township is that Haines expects to use $890,000 from the surplus funds and an expected $630,161 in state aid. That aid could increase as Haines awaits  final Open Space Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for Pinelands National Preserve towns. Tabernacle could receive $134,000.

“We’re probably not going to introduce the budget until the April 27 regular meeting,” Haines admitted. “Maybe they’ll (committee) surprise me and I’ll have it ready to present at the March 23 meeting.”


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue