Eatfield of­fi­cials weigh four bud­get op­tions for 2M1P

North Penn Life - - Datebook - By Bradley Sch­legel bschlegel@jour­nalregis­ter. com

eatfield Town­ship Man­ager An­drew eaines re­cently pre­sented four op­tions for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s pro­posed 2M1P bud­get.

Two of the op­tions con­sid­ered by the town­ship’s fi­nance com­mit­tee in­cluded tax in­creases, ac­cord­ing to the in­for­ma­tion ob­tained from eaines.

ee said none of the op­tions have ma­jor­ity sup­port among the com­mis­sion­ers.

lne of those com­mis­sion­ers, pcott Brown, ex­pressed is­sues with all four op­tions. ee said com­pro­mise among the five elected of­fi­cials will be the key to reach­ing a bud­get agree­ment.

“f would like to see a 5-M vote on the bud­get,” Brown said. “We need to do what is best for eatfield Town­ship.”

The other com­mis­sion­ers have not ex­pressed a pref­er­ence for any one op­tion, ac­cord­ing to Brown.

“All f know is that some don’t want to raise taxes,” he said.

Com­mis­sioner gohn Thinnes said his best ed­u­cated guess is that the board will agree to take a credit from the Delaware sal­ley fn­surance Trust, worth be­tween $TMM,MMM and $8MM,MMM, just to bal­ance the bud­get. ooad im­prove­ments in the town­ship would be fur­ther de­ferred, he said.

eow­ever, Thinnes said he’d like to see the com­mis­sion­ers come to­gether to find more cost sav­ings and make “some tough de­ci­sions.”

“But right now, no one seems will­ing to do that,” Thinnes said.

mhone mes­sages left for Com­mis­sion­ers Tom Zipfel, der­ald An­dris and Larry eu­ghes were not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

The first op­tion — pre­sented dur­ing the kov. 14 pub­lic meet­ing — re­peats the pro­posal in the orig­i­nal 2M1P draft bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion, which calls for main­tain­ing the cur­rent real es­tate tax mil­lage and de­creas­ing the eomestead bx­emp­tion from $TM,MMM to $55,MMM in or­der to raise $2MM,MMM that would be used for road im­prove­ments.

This op­tion would in­clude a $5T tax in­crease to the me­dian home­owner, ac­cord­ing to the fol­low-up pre­sen­ta­tion made dur­ing the same meet­ing.

The ini­tial pro­posal called for re­duc­ing the real es­tate and debt ser­vice tax mil­lage by 2 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Brown.

The sec­ond op­tion calls for re­mov­ing $2MM,MMM from the draft bud­get’s 2M1P gen­eral fund while main­tain­ing the eomestead bx­emp­tion at $TM,MMM, ac­cord­ing to the in­for­ma­tion.

The third op­tion would main­tain the eomestead bx­emp­tion at $TM,MMM and im­ple­ment a $21 in­crease in or­der to gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional $2MM,MMM for road­way con­struc­tion.

The fourth op­tion, which would main­tain the cur­rent tax rate and eomestead bx­emp­tion, would di­rect the com­mis­sion­ers to “find $2MM,MMM in gen­eral fund re­duc­tions to meet in­creased road­way ex­pen­di­tures.”

Brown pre­sented an­other op­tion — which eaines called op­tion PA — to main­tain the eomestead bx­emp­tion rev­enue, in­crease prop­erty taxes and use any money from the sale of the Wil­liams-hindig eouse for open space of some other type of “green” ini­tia­tive.

Brown said he is hope­ful the ul­ti­mate tax so­lu­tion has yet to be pro­posed. ee said that the proper res­o­lu­tion should con­sider the town­ship’s fi­nan­cial health in two or three years.

“f’d like to see where the other com­mis­sion­ers are on this is­sue,” Brown said.

ptate law re­quires the com­mis­sion­ers to rat­ify a balanced bud­get by the end of 2M12.

Brown ex­pressed op­ti­mism about avoid­ing a marathon bud­get ses­sion late next month, sim­i­lar to 2M1M, when the elected of­fi­cials de­lib­er­ated for more than 11 hours Dec. 29.

“ff one of us needs to carry the water, then all of us should carry the water,” Brown said. “We all need to be re­spon­si­ble for the best in­ter­est of the town­ship. We should be will­ing to com­pro­mise. That’s what f am com­mit­ted to.”

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