EVESHAM >> Mayor Jaclyn Veasy and Evesham Township Council unanimously passed the township’s 2020 Municipal Budget last week, resulting in a $4.84 decrease in municipal taxes for residents with an average assessed home value of $271,600.
The 2020 budget totals $38.8 million in appropriations – an overall decrease of $768,000 from last year’s budget of $39.5 million.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, township officials worked diligently to contend with an estimated $1.5 million in revenue losses in the 2020 budget when compared to the prior year.
The decrease in revenue stems from losses in areas such as construction fees, court fees, delinquent taxes, licensing fees, misc. fees and permits, loss of play at the municipally-owned Indian Spring Golf Course and more.
Simultaneously, officials also recognized that many of the township’s residents and businesses were facing their own financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those hardships would be compounded by any potential tax increase.
As such, township officials carefully identified opportunities to reduce spending while placing no additional municipal tax burden on residents. The result is a budget that actually reduces municipal taxes in order to help those in Evesham at a time when they need it most.
“As we confront a public health emergency and economic emergency unlike any other in recent memory, I’m proud that our council and professionals have produced a budget that reduces municipal taxes for our residents and businesses who need relief now more than ever,” Mayor Jaclyn Veasy said. “The more we can help support our residents and businesses, the more they can help support the township.”
The 2020 Municipal Budget also holds surplus use steady compared to the 2019 budget, once again utilizing about $6 million of the slightly more than $10 million available. Since 2013, municipal budgets in Evesham Township have been designed with a concerted effort to not utilize all available surplus funds in a given year.
Officials believe continuing a cautious approach to surplus use in the 2020 Municipal Budget will benefit the township in the coming years, particularly if surplus funds do not replenish at the same rate as in previous years due to the uncertain economic conditions ahead, or if state aid funding is reduced.
“This budget is yet another example of Evesham Township taking proactive steps in the face of adversity,” Veasy said. “In these unprecedented times, this budget represents a cautious, responsible decision from all members of council.”
Evesham Township is also once again taking this opportunity to remind the public that state law requires the municipality to collect the full property tax bill for all other local taxing entities, even though these other entities set their own tax rates and craft their own yearly budgets outside of the municipality’s control.
With this in mind, Evesham Township’s municipal government only retains an average of 15 percent of the total funds collected from any total property tax bill.
Township officials work meticulously to fully utilize the 15 percent of funds to provide all municipal services for the year, such as police, trash collection, road repair, parks/recreation, snow removal, senior services, the construction office, the Clerk’s Office and all other services offered through the municipality.
However, the remaining 85 percent of funds from total property tax bills are distributed to the other local agencies, including the Evesham Township School District (40 percent), Lenape Regional High School District (25 percent), Burlington County (14 percent), with the remaining funds split between the local fire district and open space tax.