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No Increase In Lakewood Taxes After Coordinated Effort To Reduce Spending

The Lakewood Township Committee will introduce the budget at tonight’s Committee meeting, with no increase being made in municipal taxes after a coordinated effort by the Township’s department heads to reduce spending. 

“We were very lucky that, despite the hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, 96.8% of municipal taxes were paid in 2020,” Mayor Ray Coles told TLS. “That’s important, because if the Township doesn’t receive a high percentage of taxes due, that would result in a necessary increase in municipal taxes.”

Lakewood Township is obligated to provide 100% of the funds allocated in the budget for the Township – including public works, the police department, etc. – the fire district, and the county, regardless of whether enough revenue was brought in by taxes to pay for those obligations. If there are not enough funds to pay those obligations, officials are forced to raise taxes to offset the debt brought on by the disparity. Therefore, a high tax collection rate is vital to keeping taxes down.

Mayor Coles told TLS that, in an effort to keep taxes at the same levels as they were last year, department heads were requested by the Township Manager to find ways to reduce their proposed budgets by 4%, which they successfully did.

“I’m very happy to let folks know that their municipal taxes will not see an increase this year,” Mayor Coles said. “Everyone has suffered one way or another from the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, and reducing the financial strain on Lakewood households was a top priority for us. I’m glad we were able to hopefully ease at least some of the tax burden on families.”

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