We've known since the summer that the State of New Jersey was considering (and ultimately adopted) a roughly 22 percent increase to the healthcare premiums of active and retired public employees. Controlling for all other spending, this increase alone would trigger an approximate 1% tax increase on Chester Township taxpayers. Now we have learned that the State will increase the rates for the Public Employee Retirement System a full percentage point. Factor in significant spikes in fuel and other costs and Chester Township faces a very challenging budget process.
We've been in situations like this before and we'll manage the budget in a responsible way, but it is a reminder that the decisions of our state and federal leaders have direct consequences on our municipal budget. Stay vigilant in how you expect your elected leaders to spend your hard-earned tax dollars!