In May, Gloucester Township Mayor and Council presented the 2020 GT Budget. Their budget calls for a 10.5% increase to GT property taxes (a $5 million increase to the GT tax levy).
Several GT residents decided that this large tax hike needed to be challenged. GT property taxes have risen sharply in recent years but, during a health and economic crisis, this year’s increase is unconscionable.
Hundreds of pages of GT financial data were scrutinized, including transactions from the previous 5 years. Below is a summary of
the product of this work. This has been dubbed the “2020 GT Citizen’s Budget”. With the information at hand, the Citizens reduced
the tax increase from 10.5% down to 3.8%. (The tax levy increase was reduced from $5 million down to $1.8 million.)
The opportunity to work with the GT Mayor and Council to fully review the budget in detail will be welcomed
- Each line item of GT Revenue was analyzed. The budget amount for some line items was increased; a few decreased; some stayed the same.
- Overall, $1,493,003 of additional budget revenue was identified by the Citizens.
- For the GT Police budget, the Citizens identified $194,410 in budget savings. All of these savings are from corrections to the GT Budget for employee payroll benefits. The Citizens made no changes to the budget for police personnel, equipment, supplies.
- Many budget line items were analyzed and amended. Major reductions include: a. budget reductions corresponding to COVID related cancellation of many programs and activities in the Rec Department; b. reduction to the obvious over-budget for snow removal.
- Prior years’ borrowing and cash management decisions by GT have resulted in a $1.9 million increase for debt payments in 2020. Unfortunately, these decisions are locked in, so these debt payments cannot be changed. Worse, GT’s debt payments will continue to increase in coming years.
- Many budget line items were analyzed and amended. Major reductions include: a) A reduction in the use of a public relations consultant-BlueWire Media; b) A correction to the GT Budget for payroll Social Security; c) A reduction to account for the price drop for gasoline.
- The 2020 GT Budget increases salaries and wages by 5.3%. The Citizens made no changes.
- As the 2020 GT Budget was scrutinized and re-cast, a truly honest effort was made to create an accurate “2020 GT Citizen’s Budget”. Everything is documented, and the details of the hundreds of line items that were analyzed are available upon request.