Tiny Pemberton Borough may keep property taxes in check by imposing a new $100 trash collection fee.
"It may seem like a sneaky, dirty thing to do," says Mayor Bill Kochersperger, because residents would have to pay the annual fee on top of taxes if the plan is adopted.
But Kochersperger says the borough is struggling with shrinking revenues and wanted to avoid spending $13,000 to hold a referendum to ask voters for permission to raise taxes beyond a state-imposed two-percent tax cap.
Medford is the only municipality in South Jersey that will go to referendum this year to exceed the cap. Municipal trash collection will be eliminated if voters defeat the question.
Kochersperger said the Republican-controlled borough council outsources its trash collection, which costs about $100,000.
Pemberton's proposed budget is expected to raise municipal taxes about $60 on a home assessed at $110,000, the borough's average. The trash fee, which will be considered at a meeting next month, would help the borough pay its bills.
The mayor has also agreed to forfeit his $6,000 salary this year, and council members will forfeit their $2,000 stipends. The town hall will also be closed on Fridays to save money.