Hopewell Township has secured $2.3 million in incremental one-time payment revenues required from Lennar, a home construction and real estate company, which is building two new inclusionary neighborhoods as a part of the township’s 2017 bipartisan affordable housing settlement.
Township officials said, “these payments are separate from the revenue that is anticipated under the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements for these properties.”
“We have worked over many years to reduce property taxes for our residents. This year, our efforts led to a 2 percent reduction in the overall tax rate for Hopewell Township,” Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said.
“This new revenue will help us continue on that path. I would like to thank our Township CFO Julie Troutman and our Finance [Committee] Liaison, Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski, for helping make this happen.”
Over the past five years, the Hopewell Township Committee has been working to improve the long-term finances of the township.
In addition to a multi-year effort to reduce municipal debt, the Committee has attracted new commercial ratables to the township, such as with the revitalization of the former BMS (Bristol-Myers Squibb) Campus, according to a press release through the township.
The Township Committee has also kept spending below the rate of inflation. This year, the municipal budget held spending to less than a 2% increase, despite inflationary pressures of 8-9%.
Importantly, these new monies reinforce the township’s ability to exceed AAA levels of Fund Balance by maintaining a reserve of more than six months of township revenue, officials said.
“Several years ago, we established a plan to reduce the proportion of taxes paid by residential property owners,” Kuchinski said.
Additionally, the revenues will serve as a down payment on future year capital and operating needs for the township, officials said.
“With the successful reinvention of the BMS and Merrill Lynch campuses, anticipated new revenues from PILOT agreements, and our ongoing efforts to attract new small businesses to Hopewell Valley, we expect to see further progress on tax reduction in the years ahead,” Kuchinski said.