Whitpain budget calls for no tax hike
For Whitpain taxpayers, the picture looks pretty good — not just for 2013 but for WKH yHDUV WR FRPH.
“There will be no tax increase proposed for 2013,” Township Manager Roman Pronczak said at the townVKLS’V fiUVW buGgHW wRUkVKRS 2FW. 16. “WH GR nRW Dnticipate a tax increase being necessary for two to three DGGLWLRnDO yHDUV.”
During the workshop, Pronczak presented the proposed 2013 budget, which calls for keeping the tax rate flDW IRU WKH WKLUG VWUDLgKW yHDU.
With no tax increase, the PLOODgH UDWH wRuOG VWDy DW 3.2 PLOOV. A PLOO HTuDWHV WR $1 Ln WDxHV SHU $1,000 Ln DVVHVVHG UHDO HVWDWH vDOuH. A UHVLGHnFH assessed at the township DvHUDgH RI $226,000 wRuOG FRnWLnuH WR SDy $723 Ln PunLFLSDO WDxHV.
The proposed budget anticipates general fund revenue will come in at $11,898,450, wKLOH HxSHnditures are budgeted to be $12,266,447, wLWK WKH GHfiFLW covered by the township’s IunG bDODnFH.
On the revenue side of the
budget, the township continues to face budget challenges in light of the economyK
“They’re very similar to what we faced in the 2012 budget,” Pronczak said, noting returns on pension funds are unpredictable, real estate transfers are slow and the earned income tax remains flDW.
The four biggest components of the township’s revenue are the earned income, real estate, local services and deed transfer taxes, which are expected to bring in A5 million, A3K88 million, AT30,000 and A450,000, respectively, according to PronczakK The projected GHHG WUDnsIHU WD[ fiJuUH marks a A150,000 decrease from the current yearK Continued property reassessments could also impact revenue, as the township has seen 119 assessment changes WKURuJK WKH fiUsW nLnH PRnWKs of this yearK
Meanwhile, the proposed general fund expenditures are down A109,351 from the current yearK
Personnel-related costs continue to dominate the expenditure side of the budget, with A8K23 million, or ST percent, of the general fund budget going to salaries and EHnHfiWs, KHDOWK EHnHfiWs DnG pensions, according to PronczakK
Of the A12K2SS million in proposed expenditures, 44 percent will go to the police department, 23 percent to the public works department, 8 percent to administration and 5 percent to parks and recreation, according to PronczakK The remaining expenditures are a A500,000 transfer to the capital reserve fund and A1K9TS million in other expenditures and transfersK
With that half-million dollar transfer, the capital reserve fund is expected to start at nearly A5K8 million, with A1,T3T,400 budgeted for capital projects in 2013, according to PronczakK
Included among those are several land and building projectsK The township plans to replace the police building roof (A30,000), put a roof over the public works parking lot (A120,000), modify the municipal complex’s parking lot (A100,000) and upgrade the remediation building, which is currently owned by the DbP but will be turned over to the township in the coming year (A135,000)K
Other capital projects include A250,000 for West $PEOHU flRRG FRnWURO DnG UHvitalization efforts, A2S2,400 to replace four vehicles and a mower, A250,000 to address drainage issues in the vicinity of Plymouth and Morris roads and A125,000 for sidewalk improvements in West Ambler, for which the township received a grantK
While providing numbers for the coming year, Pronczak also looked further down the roadK
“When the township looks at the budget … we look at DW OHDsW D fivH-yHDU KRUL]Rn,” he saidK
said revenues and expenditures can be expected to remain fairly even for the next few years, but come 2015, the township anticipates starting to have RSHUDWLnJ GHfiFLWs.
BDsHG Rn WKRsH fiJuUHs, WKH township does not anticipate having to raise taxes in the following two to three years, DFFRUGLnJ WR RIfiFLDOs.
Township staff and the board of supervisors credited the township’s focus on fivH-yHDU EuGJHWLnJ DnG WKH fisFDO sHFuULWy RI WKH WRwnship, as shown this year by two different assessmentsK
barlier this year, Moody’s awarded the township a AAA bond rating, making LW RnH RI RnOy fivH WRwnships in the state to achieve this top rating, according to PronczakK Meanwhile, the Pew Charitable Trust studied the tax burden on residents in 120 communities in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, ranking Whitpain as having the sixth-lowest tax burden of all the communities studied and the second-lowest in Montgomery CountyK
“WH KDvH Dn HIfiFLHnWOy run township, and for a few years we don’t have to worry about a tax increase,” Supervisor Tony Greco saidK
“We are spending your money wisely, and we will continue to do so,” board Chairman saidK
The township will hold two more public budget workshops OctK 23 and kovK 13, both at 9 aKmK at the township buildingK The
Palmer board will also take public comments on the proposed budget at its kovK 20 and DecK 4 meetingsK
The board anticipates voting on budget adoption at its DecK 4 meetingK