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Haddon Twp. Eyes Slight Municipal Tax Decrease

From The Retrospect

At next week’s meeting of the Haddon Township Commissioners, Mayor Randy Teague anticipates introducing a 2010 municipal budget that shaves a few dollars off of the municipal portion of the property tax bill. The 2009 budget also saw a slight decrease in the tax rate.

Teague credits ongoing cost cutting efforts with enabling the commissioners to hold the line on taxes. He noted that there are fewer municipal employees now than when his administration took office.
Savings, Teague said, have recently been realized through consolidating departments and outsourcing services. Residents, except for senior citizens, will notice a $15 increase in their sewer bills for this year.
More cost savings and new revenue are in the works, too. These new measure are not reflected in the 2010 budget but will help the 2011 budget.
The commissioners at Tuesday night’s caucus meeting approved a bid to run the concession stand at Crystal Lake Pool for $3,500 for the season.
Not only will the concessionaire generate revenue for the town, township clerk Denise Adams noted that the stand ran a deficit of close to $10,000 last year. She called the change a “win-win” adding that pool personnel also won’t have to manage concession payroll and order supplies.
Pool patrons may see new offerings, as well. The concessionaires also run the Weber’s Drive-In of Brooklawn as well as a catering facility. No word, yet, say township officials, if Weber’s root beer will be available.
Teague said he expects the commissioners to also accept a bid to lease space on the Briarwood standpipe for cellular communications equipment for new revenue of $500 per month.
Through another resolution, adopted Tuesday night, the township will also try to generate a substantial cost savings in its annual electricity expense.
By agreeing to a wholesale purchase through a third party, the township could pay substantially below its current rate depending on market conditions. By way of example, Teague had a quote showing that if the township signed a one-year deal on Tuesday of this week, the township would save $36,000.
The resolution allows the township to sign a deal for less than the going rate. Since the price changes daily, the new price and estimated savings will not be know until the deal is signed.
Teague noted that a similar cost savings mechanism is available for natural gas, as well, but the township is locked into a contract until 2011. At that time the township can investigate achieving new savings.
In a related matter, township business improvement director Kate Burns recommended that the BID’s tax levy remain at the same rate as last year. The BID tax is levied only on certain business properties in town, mainly along the Haddon Ave. and White Horse Pike corridors

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12 Responses

  1. Also from The Retrospect

    Unlike neighboring Haddon Township, Heights also does not plan on accelerating its tax sale schedule to help its cash flow.
    Non-union employees will start contributing 1.5% of their pay toward health premiums in May. Unionized employees will receive adjustments for inflation this year.

  2. I’d like to know how you can send out increased tax bills without even passing the ordinance yet? I heard that one explanation was that by the time they are due the ordinance will be passed. How do they know in advance it will be passed?

    Also does this means since the ordinance hasn’t been passed that residents can go pay now at the lower rate and not be penalized?

    In the article it says $15.00 sewer increase…I rec’d a $7.50 increase. If my math is correct, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong….$7.50 x 4 qtrs = $30.00. So which is right? And if this is wrong, along with the ordinance not being passed yet, shouldn’t new bills be sent out that are correct?

  3. Jen – just to clarify, they sent out higher sewer bills, not tax bills prior to passing the ordinance.

    Yes – I brought to their attention that the bill I received did not match the proposed ordinance and it overcharged us. They were not even aware of this problem – the tax collector didn’t read the ordinance properly and when I brought it to her attention, she didn’t even know what it said. She did apologize for sending the increased bills prior to the passing of the ordinance, that she made a mistake believing that the ordinance had passed the prior meeting. What scares me a little is that she attends the meetings and obviously didn’t know exactly what happened.

    One other item is that they are changing certain OPRA fees but not the fees for copying costs. I have brought this up 3 months in a row that there is a 6/30 deadline based upon a court case. The town is passing a new fee ordinance and could easily insert a line in to come into compliance. They have made every excuse not to do this. In fact, they are consciously doing this. This lowers the costs from $.75 to $.10 per page. Instead they will need a separate ordinance now which will cost more in legal fees to create. In summary, they are continuing to everything in their legal power not to embrace open government principals as proven by their behavior and lack of actions.

  4. I stand corrected….water/sewer bills…I guess I had on my mind that they keep saying they aren’t increasing our tax but increase all other fees

  5. Doesn’t fit the topic, but this is from the NJ Division of Local Government Services, and would be good for the people in our community to know about:

    The following information concerns actions that local officials can take to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure or other housing related problems:

    – Foreclosure Fast Facts: A 2-page listing of assistance, numbers to call, and general assistance, including counseling agencies experienced in foreclosure: http://www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/foreclosureprevention_resources.pdf

    – The Mayor’s Combat Kit: Materials and sources of information on buying a home, mortgage assistance and foreclosure, designed especially for Mayors:
    http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/njhope/mayorkit.html

    – The NJ HOPE (Home Ownership Preservation Effort) website provides information about resources that are available for homeowners who are delinquent in their mortgage payments, need counseling or have questions:
    http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/njhope/

  6. Maybe readers could pass this information on to friends in other communities who could use the help, too. — KH

  7. I ran into the commissioners Friday night at the night reception at Salon Soha on the WHP. They had said that they received a large volume of information from the school board relating to vote which turned down the school board budget. They will be the decision makers on the school board final budget.

    I suggested full transparency on this by scanning all the documents and putting them on the town website (alternatively, the school board could do the same thing).

    We will see if this is done. I know in the past that the school board makes an easy to understand presentation of their budget (unlike the commissioners who provide little comprehensable information about the budget). It appears that this will not be brought up at tomorrow’s meeting according to the commissioners but will be brought up later in the month. In the end, there will be a public comment portion of the meeting relating to this and I encourage as many people as possible to give their thoughts so that the commissioners can make an informed decision. That being said, with all three commissioners having children in the school, they will have a huge balancing act between the voices of the voters and the needs of the children.

  8. Oops, I posted the last post but forgot to put my name on it.

  9. The school budget can be found on the Haddon Twp Board of Education website. The BOE held many meetings before the final version of the budget was put up to vote. Anyone who had any questions or insights or just wanted information could have attended any of those meetings.

    • I don’t know if what they provided the commissioners is the same info posted on the website. I have seen the budgets on their website. Is there any harm in putting it up on the township website or a link to the BOE website if it is the same info? My point is that they delivered a large volume of info to the Commissioners, that info should be available to anyone who wants to look. It is called open transparent government. The school board generally does a good job of this.

      Your statement that if you wanted information, you could have gone to the meetings is irrelevant at this point, as I don’t believe that all 3 commissioners attended all the meetings, and they will be basing their decision based upon the information that they are being provided. I expect that all the appropriate school officials will be at the meeting where the decision is made so that questions may be asked and answered to give the commissioners this opportunity to ask questions in order to arrive at their decision.

  10. Я вот что хочу спросить каким амкарием это можно приментиь в жизни а то мноиге пишут рекомендации да советы, а вот каковы результаты?

  11. ЧП На контроле http://чистыйподъезд.рф/. Коммунальная благоустроенность, зеленые зоны и мздоимство властьпредержащих.

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