Eatfield officials weigh four budget options for 2M1P
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.”