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Chatham Township Approves 0% Tax Levy—Again

Committee passes budget with no tax increase for second consecutive year.

The Committee unanimously approved Thursday night a municipal budget for 2012 with no local tax levy increase.

This is the second straight year the township has managed to keep local taxes flat, thanks in a large part to shared services, ratables within town and consolidating positions.

"Is there any other community that you know of that has kept taxes flat [two years running]?" Committee Member Bailey Brower Jr. asked.

Township Administrator Thomas E. Ciccarone said he did not know of any towns that have kept taxes level two straights years, though he does know of some towns with no local taxes.

Average township homes were assessed at $747,500 in 2011. The tax rate of 0.288, or 28.8 cents per $100 of assessed value, means the average home will pay an annual municipal tax of $2,152 this year.

The tax levy for township residents to support the Library of the Chathams will also remain unchanged at 3.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The township has managed to reduce expenses, despite a decrease in state aid of over $419,000 over the last five years.

State Aid to Chatham Township 2007-12 2007 $1,256,000 2008 $1,121,000 2009 $1,077,000 2010 $836,467 2011 $836,467 2012 $836,467 Net Change 2007-12 -$419,533

The flat tax rate is contingent on the committee approving an ordinance, which passed at first introduction, reducing the municipal Open Space tax to one half-cent per $100 of assessed value. This was also done in 2011 to keep taxes flat.

The Open Space tax automatically reverts to 2 cents each year.

The total amount to be raised by taxes for Chatham Township in 2012 is $8,603,842. Since, under the state tax cap, the township could raise a total of $9,189,819 in taxes, that leaves $585,977 available for cap banking the township could use between 2013 and 2015.

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