Hopewell Township received some welcome news this week, securing $2.3 million in incremental revenues that will directly benefit Township residents.
Commenting on the news, Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said: “We have worked over many years to reduce property taxes for our residents. This year, our efforts led to a 2% reduction in the overall tax rate for Hopewell Township. This new revenue will help us continue on that path. I would like to thank our Township CFO Julie Troutman and our Finance Liaison, Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski, for helping make this happen.”
This new revenue consists of one-time payments required of Lennar, the company building two new inclusionary neighborhoods in Hopewell Township as a part of the Township’s 2017 bipartisan affordable housing settlement. These payments are separate from the revenue that is anticipated under the PILOT agreements for these properties.
Over the past five years, the Hopewell Township Committee has been working to improve the long-term finances of the Township. In addition to a multi-year effort to reduce municipal debt, the Committee has attracted new commercial ratables to the Township, such as with the revitalization of the former BMS Campus. The Township Committee has also kept spending below the rate of inflation. This year, the municipal budget held spending to less than a 2% increase, despite inflationary pressures of 8% to 9%.
Importantly, these new monies reinforce the Township’s ability to exceed AAA levels of Fund Balance by maintaining a reserve of more than six months of Township revenue. Additionally, they will serve as a down-payment on future year capital and operating needs for the Township.
Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski shared: “Several years ago, we established a plan to reduce the proportion of taxes paid by residential property owners. Today’s news is another step forward towards this vision. With the successful reinvention of the BMS and Merrill Lynch campuses, anticipated new revenues from PILOT agreements, and our ongoing efforts to attract new small businesses to Hopewell Valley, we expect to see further progress on tax reduction in the years ahead.”
Submitted by Hopewell Township
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