Finance Director Andrew Freda went through the numbers, and also submitted a detailed report, outlining next year's budget. The most troubling aspect of the financial plan is that it spends $1.6 million more than it takes in. This shortfall will be made up by taking money from the fund balance On paper, the fund balance is projected to drop $2 million over the next year and end at just $1.46 million. Funds on reserve will only be 10% of the budget. Freda stated that the reserve should be between 12-18%.
Freda did explain that, in budgeting, revenues almost always come in higher than anticipated and expenses are less. So the Township's actual fund balance next year may be higher than is projected.
The Township's largest revenue source is Act 511 taxes, which consist of transfer taxes, earned income taxes and business mercantile taxes. These provide 31% of the Township's revenue. Real estate taxes, the second largest revenue source, brings in 27% of the Township's income.
The biggest drain on revenue is personnel. Ten years ago, the Township had 93 employees. Today, there are just 85 represented by three different unions.
Another major expense is health care. It is projected at $2.1 million next year, which is just two per cent higher than it was this year.
The Township will also pay $1 million into its pension, with the state kicking in another $500,000.
Unanimously, Commissioners authorized that the budget be advertised. A copy will be available online and at the Municipal Building.