The Commerce Township Board of Trustees avoided a prolonged stalemate over fiscal matters and passed the township’s 2013 budget at its Tuesday, Nov. 13 meeting.
The total revenue for township is projected to be about $5.8 million next year, with total expenditures estimated to be about $5.36 million, resulting in a spending plan about $426,000 in the black for the next fiscal year, which begins on Jan. 1, 2013 and ends Dec. 31, 2013.
The largest contributor to the township’s coffers is state shared revenues, which totals about $2.6 million, followed by property taxes, which are estimated to generate about $2.09 million.
The budget, which passed by a vote of 5-2 with Trustees David Law and Rob Long voting against it, includes about $2.79 million in transfers out of the township’s General Fund.
The majority of the Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) budget, which was approved in September and included about $1.7 million in advances from the township, is used to pay down the DDA’s debt, which includes about $2.5 million in interest and bond administrative costs, and $1.5 million in principal in 2013.
Law said he opposed approving the budget because it fails to address employee health care benefit costs, which he said will be an issue under a new state law.
“I feel that should be done at this point,” he said. “They were talking about discussing it in the future, but I didn’t feel the budget should be passed without addressing it.”
He said he is confident health care costs will be an issue in the 2013 fiscal year.
“The township is going to have to address it,” he said. “Whether they do what the state mandates or opts out … I think anything the township can do to minimize health care costs for the betterment of the township — we ought to look at it.”
Law said he agreed with some pay increases for some department directors in the township since they have had workloads increased.