EXETER – Borough council on Monday discussed the possibility of doubling property taxes in 2013 to make up for a projected budget shortfall of almost $400,000.
The anticipated $1.7 million spending plan includes revenues of only $1.3 million, officials said at a sparsely attended meeting with only five of seven council members present.
When asked about past resident criticisms that borough officials were budgeting based on revenue expected from construction of a Walmart in mind, council member Joe Esposito concurred.
He said he thought borough officials were anticipating the Walmart in budgetary terms for the past three years. Esposito was on the council for two of those three years.
There were plans to erect a superstore on Wyoming Avenue, but plans fell through earlier this year.
Esposito also said revenue from local emergency services taxes, typically $52 per year assessed on any worker employed by a business operating within the borough, will undoubtedly be lower because there are simply fewer people working in borough businesses from year to year because of the sluggish economy.
Resident Nancy Dolan also criticized the borough for what she called habitual financial mismanagement. One example she cited was the borough's hiring this year of a police officer that she now feels has proven to be an unaffordable decision.
The borough will hold another special budget meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 before the regular work session. The borough's next regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.