Before taking a vote Monday night on the 2012 budget, outgoing Republican Carl Ascoli proposed a half mill tax cut that would lower the township's real estate levy from 2.25 mills to 1.75 mills.
“As another month has passed and revenues and final accounting values are now known, we know the cash account will contain almost a quarter of a million dollars at year's end,” said Ascoli. “To my knowledge, the township has not had a carry-over cash balance in previous years as large as what we have this year. This amount translates to almost a $150,000 surplus of tax dollars. This surplus exists because of the fiscal management and oversight this board has provided over the past year – such as requiring board approval of every purchase over $500 that was not specified as a line item expense in the 2011 budget.”
“While I do not oppose the cautious spending of this surplus, I do not see a need to generate an additional surplus in 2012,” Ascoli continued. Ascoli said the 0.5 mill reduction he proposed would generate approximately $100,000 less in tax revenue.
Chairman Brian Doremus told Ascoli that he was not prepared to approve a tax cut at the workshop where the budget itself was supposed to be discussed and adopted. Ascoli said he would make a motion for the tax cut at the Dec. 14 meeting, so Doremus would have a chance to change his mind by then.
“I can't predict what's going to happen in 2012,” said Supervisor Joan Smith, “and neither can you.” Smith said she'd prefer to consider tax cuts after the township has at least another year of surpluses.
Marlborough resident Clare Reihmann said the supervisors should consider paying off the debt the township owes for the Ziegler farm purchase.
After a quick review of the budget, the supervisors voted to approve the budget, noting that the budget includes $24,000 for a part-time police officer. Ascoli also asked Chief Ray Fluck if the officers he had under consideration were still available, and Fluck replied that both of them had been hired by other police departments.