HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Scott Alexander announced a 6% decrease in the Municipal property tax levy, the largest decrease of this size in 30 years. The Mayor also announced that based on the School District and County holding their tax levy increases within the 2% cap criteria set by Governor Christies' toolkit, the Borough would experience a blended tax reduction for the 3rd year in a row, the first 3-year concurrent reduction in 69 years.
The Mayor's policies are focused on running the Borough like a business with an emphasis on growing revenues, controlling expenses, optimizing operations and enhancing services. "Running the Municipality like a business changed the old way to the new way, and we are experiencing the benefits," said Mayor Alexander. The municipality put in place a self-imposed cap in 2008, then tough big decisions were made around that discipline.
In 2011, total expenses are down 0.2%, while pension, healthcare and insurance expenses are up 15.1%. Mandated expense increases have been offset by newly created reoccurring revenue streams. The Municipality shifted its focus to revenue generation in 2009 with the economic development Project Garnet leading the way. New revenues are being created by building rentals, recreational programs, economic development and other use fees.
At the same time Haddon Heights has invested in its departments, staff and infrastructure. Specific strategic departmental expense line items are up in 2011. Haddon Heights hired new police officers and a new head of public works, and invested into key projects like information systems, economic development and sewer maintenance. "One of our key objectives has been to strategically redistribute cash from wasteful spending to initiatives that will continue to build revenue and enhance resident services," said Mayor Alexander.
It is important to note that the historic decrease does not include the use of any Project Garnet proceeds. Proceeds from the sale of former public works land will be available for budgeting starting in 2012. "Based on the new way of running the Borough like a business, there is little reason not to have additional tax reductions in 2012 and beyond. When Governor Chris Christies' healthcare and pension reforms are put into place, tax decreases will be even more consistent," says the Mayor.
Borough of Haddon Heights
(856) 547-7164, ext. 24
SOURCE Borough of Haddon Heights