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Haddon Heights Announces a 2.0% DECREASE in 2010 Property Taxes

June 3, 2010

Mayor Scott Alexander

 

Mayor Scott Alexander announced a decrease in Borough property taxes for the second year in a row. This is the first back to back annual property tax reduction in Haddon Heights since 1941/1942, 68 years ago. The Mayor said he was pleased that the Governing Body, Board of Education and County responded to the “333” Mayor’s Challenge in 2008, the “Net Property Tax Reduction” Mayor’s Challenge in 2009 and the challenge again in 2010 to further reduce property tax levy requests. A $300,000 assessed property will see a $156 reduction in their property tax bill in 2010. 

The Municipality has stayed the course since 2008 for sound fiscal policy while finding additional expense reductions to offset a 20% reduction in State Aid revenues. Overhead Expenses are down 2.19%, and full-time active employees have been reduced to 30 versus a high of 46 in 2007. In addition, the use of cash surplus is down 23% which will help property taxes in 2011. 

Unlike many other Municipalities, School Districts and Counties in the State, Haddon Heights will not lay off employees, implement furloughs, use accelerated tax sales, increase the use of cash surplus or cut services offered to our residents.  In 2008 Mayor and Council saw the writing on the wall that economic conditions were softening; revenues were down, the use of extraordinary aid was inappropriate and the Borough operating model was not optimized. As a result changes were implemented including eliminating the dependency on Extraordinary Aid, terminating unessential employees, outsourcing Borough services, increasing local revenues, building cash surplus, and changing how Municipal departments were operated. 

In 2009 the Borough reduced its average property tax bill $165 or 2.2%. This was the 17th largest property tax reduction in the State out of 571 towns and the 4th largest of towns with more than 5,000 residents. It was also the 3rd largest out of the 101 towns in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties and #1 of towns with more than 1,000 residents. The 2.0% or $156 average reduction in 2010 will rank as one of the highest in the State.

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