Voorhees Township Committee introduces 2020 budget

Proposed plan calls for $157 yearly increase in taxes

The Voorhees Township Committee introduced its 2020 budget at an online meeting June 8.

The budget called for a 5.9-cent increase in taxes from the previous year, to 89.1 cents. Residents with the average assessed home value of $259,460 in Voorhees would see an increase of approximately $157 for the year.

The amount to be raised by taxation would increase from $26,595,000 to $28,511,000 if the proposed budget is passed at a public hearing scheduled for July 13.

Following introduction of the budget, Township Administrator Lawrence Spellman said the committee is continuing to look for possible areas to cut in order to lessen the tax impact on residents, with some potential items already being identified.

According to Spellman, the current proposed budget increase is greater than budgets passed in recent years. Due to the uncertainty of state revenue streams because of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as state aid for municipalities, an increase stands out compared with prior years, when Spellman said the township has stayed below the 2-percent tax levy cap.

The township committee also passed a resolution allowing the township to assist restaurants and dining establishments in setting up outdoor seating as businesses in the state begin to reopen.

“That ordinance allows us to help our restaurants in town if we need to close roads off, such as the Boulevard by the Voorhees Town Center, to allow for additional outdoor seating areas,” Spellman said. “We need to help our restaurants get back on their feet.”

The resolution sets a time period of 120 days, which can be extended if needed.

Three resolutions were passed during the meeting regarding submission of grant applications for state transportation funds under various programs to further connect various parts of Voorhees Township through sidewalk improvements and bike paths. That has been a township goal for years.

“We’re trying to go street by street to get the entire area connected, from all the schools to the town center and everything in-between,” Spellman said.

The three grants would be for next year. The township could not provide specifics on the amounts requested through the grants.