Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 21
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
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Township Hall Offers Few Surprises as Municipal Budget Passes Smoothly

Matthew Hersh

Following a tumultuous week of reexamining the Princeton Regional Schools 2007-2008 budget, Princeton Township Committee treated its own $33.175 million operating budget like a walk in the park. It passed, 5-0.

The approved budget, a slightly steep six-cent, nearly six percent increase, was first introduced March 26 and raises the tax rate to 80 cents per $100 of assessed property value. For the average Township homeowner with a house valued at $427,900, the increase will translate to a $290.97 local purpose annual tax levy.

Some major increases in this year's budget include a $1.24 million increase in surplus for future budgets, up $406,362 from last year. Debt service, which is used to finance capital projects like road construction, was up $503,651 to $5.97 million, and funding for the Borough/Township jointly-funded Princeton Public Library, a perennial hot topic of discussion during budget cycles, was up $157,352 to close to $2.5 million.

Other expenditures included a $2.52 million reserve for uncollected taxes, up $127,650 from last year, $659,414 in employee pensions, up $252,840, and $603,000 for costs related to utilities — an increase of $63,000.

The Township's budget comprises about a quarter of a resident's tax levy, with another quarter going toward county taxes, and roughly the remainder used for public schools.

Major sources of revenue for the Township, according to Township chief financial officer Kathryn Monzo, include sewer fees ($3.5 million), the municipal reserve ($3 million), and just slightly more than $2 million in state aid.

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