Berkeley Budget Down, Tax Rate May Not Change

The Berkeley Budget Meeting held Friday, March 17th. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

BERKELEY – The budget introduced at today’s special Township Council meeting included no change in the tax rate. If it stays the same when it is formally adopted in April, Berkeley residents will not see any increase in taxes on the municipal level.

According to township figures, the tax rate will be 61.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. This would be the same rate as 2016.

The total budget would be $45,272,831.36. It would be a decrease of almost a million dollars from last year’s $46,259,216.34.

The amount to be raised by taxation would be $31,566,481.97. This would be a decrease of $47,525.94 from last year’s $31,614,007.91

Spending had a slight bump over last year. It was raised $71,919.97 to $42,901,387.97.

Three council members and the mayor were present at the special meeting held at 11 a.m. Three other council members voted via phone.

 Mayor Carmen Amato thanked the council and administration for holding the special meeting. The township needed to get the budget introduced by the end of Friday, and they wanted to wait until after the predicted snowstorm because the snow would have had an impact on the budget. As it happened, the snow bypassed Berkeley Township.

He also thanked all of the council, administration, and department heads for working together to produce a “fiscally responsible budget.”

He said that department heads were asked to keep their spending to the same amounts as what was spent at the end of 2016.

“No projects or services have been cut. No new positions have been added. The budget does include the hiring of additional police officers,” he said.

A mild winter, good tax collection, and other situations helped to create a reduction in the budget, he added.

The public hearing on the budget will be held at the Township Council meeting held on April 24, at 6 p.m. at the municipal building.