Bucks County Herald

Bedminster plans capital improvement purchases in 2018

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

The no-tax increase 2018 general fund budget for Bedminster Township, adopted at the Dec. 13 public supervisors’ meeting, features a continuation of capital improvement purchases that had been greatly reduced in recent years in order to help hold the line on total spending.

The general fund real estate tax remains at 4 mills, as does the overall township levy of 7.5 mills. The latter includes 2.5 mills for the open space fund, and 1 mill to the fire and emergency fund.

The township receives 0.5 per cent of the 1.5 per cent base earned income tax (E.I.T.) that residents pay, plus an extra E.I.T. of 0.25 per cent to help provide funding for the preservation of open space.

Taxes for the Pennridge School District, including the other 1 per cent of the E.I.T., and for Bucks County, are determined and administered separately by those entities.

Two cable TV providers pay a franchise fee of 5 per cent of gross income. The township rents space to communications providers on a cellular tower on the township garage property.

Capital improvement purchases are to include one new or used pickup truck for the public works department; installation of in-car cameras on all police vehicles; and township building enhancements designed to maintain their long-term viability. Consulting services, including the township solicitor and engineer, remain the same, as do police operating costs.

The open space fund projects revenues of $747,000 for 2018, including $640,000 from the E.I.T.

Expenditures for 2018 are budgeted at $450,000, including $240,000 for the purchase of conservation easements and $150,000 for debt service.

That total expenditure is down from $739,000 in 2017. The remaining debt from borrowing per three voter-approved referenda was refinanced in 2014, for savings estimated at $277,000 over 17 years.

New home construction permits for 2017 to date totaled 46, staying well under 100 for the 11th consecutive year. In 2005, there were 264, and in 2006, 172.

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