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Hamiltonban passes budget, approves fire tax

(12/3) The Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors approved at their December 3 meeting the township’s 2014 budget with municipal no tax increase, as well as the fire tax.

The budget package includes $724,006 for the general fund, $604,005 sewer, and $105,592 in state liquid fuels revenue.

The inflated sewer fund budget is due to the need to construct a wastewater pumping station, for which the township will be reimbursed through the Community Facilities Grant upon completion of the project.

The current tax rate will remain unchanged at 1.2359 mills. The last tax increase imposed on township residents occurred in 2005 in conjunction with the 2006 budget.

The board also approved a municipal fire tax at their December 3 meeting in a 3-2 vote. The tax will become effective in January 2014.

In a statement issued by the supervisors, the board said, “During these past eight years, your board of supervisors has planned and worked within the current revenue tax base to give you the best possible service with no increase in taxes.”

“This is a practice that we feel very strongly about, hope to continue as long as is possible, and therefore have not proposed any tax increase that would increase the revenue spending of the township. For the eighth consecutive year, there will be no general fund township tax increase in 2014,” the supervisors stated.

The News-Journal mistakenly reported the tax was passed at the November meeting. The board had actually only approved the inclusion of the tax for adoption as part of the then-proposed 2014 budget package.

The supervisors set the fire tax rate at 0.25 mills, which amounts to a tax of 25 cents per $1,000 of real estate value. For example, a homeowner owning a property valued at $200,000 would pay an annual fire tax of $50.

Voting in favor of the fire tax were superintendents Robert L. Gordon, Coleen N. Reamer, and Douglas Woerner. Superintendents Harry Rood and James Grinder voted against the measure.

Regarding the fire tax, the board stated, “The (fire) tax cannot be spent by the municipality and is not (technically) part of the township budget. The township must maintain a separate account for the funds, and only distribute monies to the fire companies when the township is presented with legitimate receipts for their operational expenses.”

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