Sunday, February 14, 2016

What Exactly Does A Town Owe Its Taxpayers?

A town manager who was asked to plug a $6 million budget hole came up with a list of town services that New Jersey deems untouchable. Everything else that the town provides could be axed. There were surprises.

What Exactly Does A Town Owe Its Taxpayers?

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Medford Township Manager Christopher J. Schultz
Medford Township Manager Christopher J. Schultz

A town manager who was asked to plug a $6 million budget hole came up with a list of town services that the state of New Jersey deems untouchable.  Everything else that the town provides could be axed.

That meant Medford Township's new manager, Christopher J. Schultz, was free to cut Public Works, the Recreation Department, park maintenance, and municipal trash collection.    

"In trying to reinvent Medford, I'm saying ahh, what does the law tell me I have to do?" Schultz said in an interview.  He was hired last year to help the Burlington County township climb out of a crippling financial mess.  (Read more here: http://bit.ly/GGNsax)  

In the end, Medford taxpayers now have to choose whether they want to pay higher taxes or hire their own trash hauler. 

But they won't have to worry about basic services.  Below is the list Schultz assembled.  These are the services mandated the state mandates for municipalities that have a township manager form of government:   

A manager

A chief financial officer

A town clerk

A construction official

A zoning official

A municipal court

A police force

And, of course, a tax assessor and tax collector

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Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at jhefler@phillynews.com.

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