, a 2012 preliminary budget that includes no increase in the township real estate tax millage rate was unanimously approved by Lower Saucon Township Council at its Nov. 16 meeting.
The balanced budget, which totals more than $6.7 million, includes a real estate tax millage rate that remains unchanged from 2011 at 4.14 mills.
According to a budget highlights summary distributed at the meeting, both projected revenues and expenditures are expected to increase by five percent in 2012.
The township's revenues are expected to increase "because of (its) increased beginning balance, budgeted transfers, slight increases in public safety funding and returns from self insured funds," according to the document.
A modest increase in fixed costs is cited in the summary as a reason for the increased expenditures, with renegotiated uniformed and uniformed employee contracts; a 2.6 percent hike in health insurance premiums; projected increases in fuel costs; increases in wage compensation; and an increase in social security taxes all contributing to the overall spending increase.
The township also expects to realize financial savings via several initiatives in 2012, including the rebidding of expenses related to park infrastructure and maintenance; the retrofitting of existing township structures to achieve energy savings; and .
Proposed new expenditures include the planned completion of upgrades to , as well as improvements to , Kingston Park and the Easton Road ball fields.
Final adoption of the 2012 township budget is scheduled for council's Dec. 21 meeting.