Abington approves budget increase
Abington residents will see a 1.3 percent tax hike in 2013.
In a 12-2 vote, the Abington Township Board of Commissioners approved a $34,304,004 budget at the DHF. 20 finDO EuGJHW PHHWing — a slight decrease from the $34,320,164 preliminary budget proposed in November.
The 1.3 percent tax inFrHDVH LV D firH WD[ VurJH WKDW will bring in an additional $171,500 in revenue to help RIIVHW D GHfiFLW RI $483,835. The increase represents $8 in additional taxes for a home assessed at the district average of $150,000.
Township Manager MiFKDHO LHFHvrH VDLG WKH firH tax revenue will be divided DPRnJ WKH firH FRPSDnLHV, fund physicals and $85,000 of the funds will be directed toward capital expenditures — $25,000 for repairs to the firH GHSDrWPHnW’V WrDLnLnJ facility and $60,000 will be allocated toward a training simulator.
In addition, $315,000 will be taken from the fund balance to help offset the $483,855 short fall, LeFevre said.
Commissioners Steven Kline and Robert Wachter voted against the budget. Commissioner James Ring was not present and excused from the vote.
Wachter said he was not in favor of any tax increase and that the taxes should not EH rDLVHG VSHFLfiFDOOy IRr RnH department in the township.
“I think we need to tighten our belts and stay within what we have,” he said.
Commissioner Kline also spoke out DJDLNVW WKH fiNDO EUGJHW.
“WKLOH , VUSSRUW WKH fiUH FRPSDNLHV, I believe at this time we should not be SUWWLNJ PRNHy DZDy IRU D fiUH VLPUODtor, which I believe, is a luxury,” he VDLG. “3UWWLNJ DZDy $60,000 IRU D fiUH simulator is something we can do without in the short term.”
Kline also said that using money from the refuse fund balance to fund road overlay projects and, what appeared to be a 5 percent budget increase for the police department, are other reasons why he did not support the budget.
In response to Kline’s comments, Abington police Chief William Kelly said the police department requested less money for 2013 by approximately $15,000.
Contractual raises and inter-departmental allocation — items the police GHSDUWPHNW GRHV NRW LNflUHNFH — DUH reasons why the police budget appears to have an increase, Kelly said.
Several board members spoke in favor of the budget including Commissioners Dennis wapone and Matthew Willis who said that taking care of the NHHGV RI WKH fiUH GHSDUWPHNW LV HVVHNWLDO to safety of the township.
“,I ZH KDYH WKH FDSDELOLWy WR JLYH [WKH fiUH GHSDUWPHNWV@ ZKDW WKHy NHHG WR GR their job to protect us, our residents and our dwellings we need to give it to them,” wapone said. “The ladies and gentlemen in both the Abington police DNG fiUH GHSDUWPHNW SUW WKHLU OLYHV RN the line every single day … and I don’t think there should be any question about this budget.”
If the tax increase was for something RWKHU WKDN fiUH VDIHWy, WLOOLV VDLG KH would be opposed to it.
“,I RUU YROUNWHHU fiUHfiJKWHUV ZHUH paid, you’d see an enormous tax increase,” he said. “I think it’s important we give our volunteers the best equipment and training we can.”