Tax in­crease ap­proved

2019 bud­get calls for 4.48 per­cent tax hike; ris­ing pen­sion obli­ga­tions con­tinue to in­crease

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Rob Hey­man

UP­PER MORELAND >> The av­er­age town­ship home­owner will pay an ad­di­tional $30 in real es­tate taxes as part of the ap­proved 2019 mu­nic­i­pal bud­get.

The op­er­at­ing bud­get for next year to­tals $22.4 mil­lion and calls for an in in­crease in mills from 5.033 to 5.269 – a 4.48 per­cent rise. One mill equates to $1 per $1,000 of as­sessed prop­erty valu­a­tion.

A res­i­dent with a home as­sessed at the town­ship av­er­age of $127,740 will pay $30 more on the tax bill.

Town­ship of­fi­cials said the in­creased mills will gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional $347,845 in rev­enue for Up­per Moreland in 2019.

Like other neigh­bor­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Up­per Moreland has seen ris­ing nondis­cre­tionary costs, par­tic­u­larly those tied to pen­sion obli­ga­tions, which has prompted the need for ad­di­tional tax rev­enue.

Of­fi­cials said fund­ing re­quire­ments for its three pen­sion plans must in­crease by $491,000. In ad­di­tion, costs re­lated to med­i­cal, life and so­cial se­cu­rity in­surance will rise by $243,858. To­tal em­ployee ben­e­fits ex­pen­di­tures show an in­crease from $6,164,043 in the es­ti­mated 2018 to­tal to $6,832,542 in the ap­proved 2019 bud­get.

The bud­get also shows that fund­ing for the Up­per Moreland Free Pub­lic Li­brary has been in­creased by $39,796.

While the over­all bud­get it­self is 3.6 per­cent more than the 2018 plan, the town­ship notes in its pub­lic bud­get sum­mary that ex­pen­di­tures are “essen­tially un­changed,” in­creas­ing $28,000 from 2018’s ex­pen­di­tures to­tal.

The board of com­mis­sion­ers held its fi­nal bud­get vote Dec. 3.

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