Township Adopts 2015 Municipal Budget
On Monday, May 4th, the Livingston Township Council adopted the 2015 municipal budget. This year’s budget takes into account both the improving economy and the rebuilding of surplus.
“Overall, Livingston has reduced its reliance on surplus in the budget,” stated Township Manager Michele Meade. “The Township continues to progress toward the goal of achieving a structurally balanced budget that does not rely on accumulated surplus to fund ongoing operations. Building surplus reserves is critical because reserves are used to strengthen cash flow, increase investment income, and provide for emergency expenditures that may arise during the year. A healthy surplus ensures us a solid financial basis from which to operate.”
Tax appeal refunds, debt service, solid waste disposal, public works salaries, and gasoline costs are all significantly reduced for 2015. However, retirement payments, police salaries, public library costs, capital improvements, and health insurance payments are increased this year.
“All departments are also continuing to pursue cost-saving measures,“ added Meade. “While several additional expenses in 2015 will increase total departmental operating expenses, the Township’s overall trend of expenses continues to stay significantly under that of inflation.”
With a net decrease in revenues of $1,796,739, and a net increase in appropriations of $818,507, the tax levy will increase by $978,232. This is an increase of 3.12% in the municipal tax levy. The 2015 municipal tax rate will increase by an additional 0.45% due to lower property assessments resulting from tax appeals. The total increase will be 3.57%, or $95.20 per average residential property assessed at $604,123. As stated in the overall budget document, the municipality receives 18.5% of the tax dollars collected, with the remaining 81.5% of tax dollars going to the county and the school district.