The Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its Nov. 16 meeting to advertise a $20.49 million proposed budget for 2023 with no property tax increase and a projected fund balance (surplus) of $3.99 million in the general fund at the end of next year.
Supervisors’ Chairman Paul Calderaio and fellow board members Jon Forest and Maggie Rash all voted in favor of advertising the proposed budget after hearing a presentation from Township Manager Dana Cozza. The supervisors are scheduled to vote on making it final at a Dec. 14 meeting.
The proposed budget also sets aside another $1 million for renovation or replacement of the township building in the next five to 10 years. That will make a total of $6.5 million set aside for that purpose under a process that started several years ago, Cozza and township Finance Director Jill Pistory said.
The township building was constructed in 1989 and it won’t be that far into the future before it needs major work of some kind, Cozza noted. Buckingham officials hope to have all or most of the money in place when that time comes and avoid borrowing a lot of money, she added.
“We will save millions in interest,” Calderaio said.
Also allocated in next year’s proposed budget is $400,000 for improvements at township parks. The budget leaves property taxes at 4 mills, or $218 a year for a resident with a property assessed at the township average of $54,434.
Buckingham derives most of its locally generated revenue from a 1 percent earned income tax levied on working residents that is split evenly with the Central Bucks School District, with each party getting 0.5 percent. The EIT funds most of the $11.44 million township general fund, and no property tax millage has been applied to the general fund since 1998, Cozza explained.
The 4 mills in property tax revenue for 2023 will be allocated 3 mills to the open space fund, 0.75 mills to the volunteer fire company fund and 0.25 mills to the emergency services fund, Cozza said.
Calderaio said the sound state of township finances has earned it an AAA bond rating, something that is exceptionally rare among Pennsylvania municipalities.