The Lawrence Township Council quietly approved the proposed $52.7 million municipal budget for 2022, following a public hearing that did not draw any public comment, at its April 19 meeting.
The newly adopted budget carries a municipal property tax rate increase of 3 cents, from 60 cents per $100 of assessed value to 63 cents. The owner of a house assessed at the township average of $283,651 will pay $1,787 in municipal property taxes, or $85.20 more than in 2021.
The owner of a house assessed at $150,000 would pay $940 in municipal property taxes, and a house assessed at $450,000 would pay $2,821 in municipal property taxes.
Property taxes are levied on residential and non-residential properties, with the exception of those that are tax-exempt under state law. Tax-exempt properties include governmental and educational facilities, as well as religious-affiliated properties.
The proposed 2022 municipal budget carried a tax rate increase of 3.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, but it was trimmed back to a 3-cent increase, Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski said.
The main source of revenue to support the municipal budget is property taxes. The amount to be raised by property taxes to support the spending plan is $29.4 million.
The 2022 municipal budget also uses $6.9 million in surplus funds as a source of revenue. Lawrence Township had $17.5 million in surplus funds as of Dec. 31, 2021.
Miscellaneous revenue totals $15.6 million. This includes revenue from licenses, fees and permits, the hotel and motel tax, and cable TV franchise fees.
Alcoholic beverage licenses will generate $43,000, and fees and permits will generate $169,000. The hotel and motel tax will generate $200,000, and the cable TV franchise fees will generate $269,000.
State aid accounts for $3.9 million in revenue. The amount of state aid has not changed in several years.
On the expenditure side, $8 million has been allocated for the Lawrence Township Police Department, and $544,000 for Lawrence Township fire services, which includes seven paid firefighters.
Also, $734,000 has been earmarked for the Lawrence Township Emergency Medical Services.
The budget sets aside $3.2 million for the Department of Public Works, which includes the Streets and Roads Division, the Buildings and Grounds Division and the Park Maintenance Division.
The contribution to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) is $983,117 and to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), the contribution is $1.9 million.