With revenues projected to be up over 5% and expenses up less than 2%, Buckingham Township is proposing a 2024 spending plan that holds the line on taxes.
The motion to approve advertising of the budget, including posting on the township website, was passed unanimously at the board of supervisors’ Nov. 15 meeting, following a presentation by Township Manager Dana Cozza.
The scheduled next step is a public hearing on the matter, and a vote for adoption of the final budget, at the next supervisors’ meeting on Dec. 13. Both the November and December board of supervisors meetings were moved up from the usual fourth Wednesday of the month due to the holiday season.
The township budget does not cover water and sewer expenses, which are handled separately through user fees, without any impact on the township budget. Neither does it cover support of its public schools, which is handled through the Central Bucks School District (131.36 mills), or taxes paid to the county (25.45 mills). Township millage would remain at 4 mills.
The portion of residents’ total tax bill that is paid to the township is about 2%. Residents pay a 1% earned income tax (E.I.T.), which the township and school district split.
There has been no millage to support the township’s general fund since 1998. For 2024, increases in expenses to be taken from the general fund are projected to arise from new employees in several departments and increased maintenance for township parks. A much greater increase in income into the general fund is projected to arise from real estate transfer taxes; the township’s half of the E.I.T.; and permit revenues from two new developments that are expected to begin in 2024. During her budget presentation, Cozza noted that “the building department covers the cost of running it.”
There is no increase in the transfer tax. The millage supports open space referendums (3 mills); fire companies (0.75 mills); and emergency services (0.25 mills).
Buckingham’s total millage was noted as significantly lower than that of seven other municipalities nearby.
At the outset of the Nov. 15 meeting, supervisors honored Patrick Fowles, with a special proclamation, for his 27 years of service on the township planning commission.