Sandwiched between the news cycles of Hurricane Sandy and Election Day has come Lower Merion Township's announcement of its proposed 2013 budget.
The Board of Commissioners has been planning for months to keep the tax rate the same as last year's rate, chiefly by drawing upon $6.9 million in payments from settled commercial-tax disputes. The budget proposed by Township Manager Doug Cleland maintains that tax rate.
The township's announcement includes a "citizen's guide to the budget", which includes details such as the following:
- The 2012 Estimated Actual revenues exceed expenditures by $2,706,924.
- The 2012 ending fund balance (undesignated) is estimated at $15,510,038 or 25.7% of the 2012 Estimated Actual Expenditures.
- The 2013 Revenue is budgeted at $55,058,000, an increase of $855,630 or +1.6% as compared to the 2012 Budget.
- The 2013 Expenditures are budgeted at $57,889,093, an increase of $2,212,216 or +4.0% as compared to the 2012 Budget.
- The 2013 Proposed Budget expenditures exceed revenue by $2,831,093, requiring a budgeted drawdown of fund balance.
- The 2013 Proposed Budget includes -$0.7 million of estimated negative appropriations (budgetary savings) in Non-Departmental (Department 70).
- The 2013 Proposed Budget ending fund balance (undesignated) is estimated at $12,678,945 or 21.9% of the 2013 Proposed Budget Expenditures
There will be public hearings to discuss the budget Nov. 19 and Dec. 5, followed by a scheduled budget adoption Dec. 19.
Check back with Patch for more details on the budget process and what your tax dollars will be paying for.
What do you think of the proposed budget? Tell us in the comments section below.