If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are living in unpredictable times. It’s hard to look at the current state of things and see Delran’s surplus as a negative, especially now. Without knowing that this would be our “rainy day,” the Township Council has been watching every penny while keeping taxes stable for 12 years. The surplus that we have accumulated is your protection should unexpected issues arise like COVID-19.
What does that mean for you or me, as taxpayers? For starters, Delran will not have a huge tax increase from the loss of tax revenue because local businesses have been forced to temporarily close or operate at limited capacity. Delran will not be burdened financially by increases in Tipping fees (cost to put trash in the dump) – because when people are stuck at home, they tend to generate more Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Delran will not be hurt with a huge tax increase by PPE costs needed to supply staff and police. And most importantly, it means that Delran will not be faced with the difficult decision of a huge tax increase to its residents while other towns may have to make a particularly sad decision in other towns. During this time when residents are experiencing job loss and suffering financially, Delran residents will not have to face a huge tax increase because we have the protection of our surplus.
If you find termite damage in your home, a tree falls on your house, or worse you experience a health emergency and insurance doesn’t cover it; what would you do? Plenty of people are living paycheck to paycheck, without any safety net. If you are lucky enough to have an emergency savings account for that purpose, and you need to tap into it; you’re definitely not going to turn to your spouse or partner and say, “I wish we didn’t have that savings account to get us through this disaster.”
The same is true for Delran. These costs are as unpredictable as this year has been, but they don’t have to translate into tax increases, at least not if you have the extra money in the bank. That’s what a surplus does, and that is how we are best able to protect you and our community.