DENNISVILLE –– There will be no tax increase in Dennis Township this year.
Despite a substantial increase in some township expenses and losing some state funding, officials here were able to keep the local purpose tax rate stable at 12.6 cents.
That means a resident whose property is assessed at $100,000 will pay around $126 in municipal taxes this year, the same as last year.
From a total budget of just under $5 million, $1.311 million will be raised by taxation compared to last year’s tax levy of $1.299 million. These figures do not include fire district, school or county taxes.
“We looked at every line item and making some cuts we were able to get the increase down to zero,” Deputy Mayor Dennis Crippen said. “We’re proud of the fact that we were able to do it without any negative impacts to residents.”
He said committee eliminated over $200,000 from the budget to hold taxes at bay. They also decided not to replace two full-time positions when the employees retired, he said.
Committee members also pitched in by not accepting regular pay increases or enrolling in the state pension system, he said.
“We’re all doing what we can to keep expenses down for the taxpayers,” Crippen said.
Major expense increases came in employee pension contributions, the state gypsy moth suppression program and utility costs.
According to Administrator Jody Alessandrine, the township’s responsibility for the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) increased over $40,000 from $53,524 in 2007 to $94,050 this year.
He said that expense would also increase next year when the township will be responsible for fully funding its pension program.
Regarding gypsy moth caterpillars, the state targeted 506 acres in Dennis Township for its aerial program last year, but that area increased over 200 percent this year for a total of 1,678 acres causing a substantial increase in spraying fees.
Another factor that made it difficult for the township to keep taxes down was reduction in state aid programs.
The township’s state aid was cut from just over $2 million last year to $1.949 million this year, a decrease of 1.3 percent.
Contact Hart at (609) 886-8600 Ext 35 or at: email@example.com