I have opinions and questions on Warminster Township's budgets. Budgets by nature are often complicated and government budgets overly complicated. We all should know that Pennsylvania's budgets are and have been disasters and examples of poor planning for the future. PA's lack of planning and sound budgeting practices have not only lead to major problems at the state level but have heaped debt on municipalities.The main source of debt experienced by municipalities is employee pension obligations. Townships are hit each year with Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) payments to fund pensions. It's the state's lack of planning prior to the stock market crash in 2007 & 08 that crashed pension funds and heaped the payment burdens on municipalities.That being said, it was and is incumbent upon municipalities to take actions to prevent large deficits and the effects of these deficits (increasing income, cutting services and/or people).So, let's get down to specifics on the Warminster Township budget.
A Reserve fund (basically to cover unexpected or non budgeted items) was established in 2014. Although budget deficits were projected for 2014 and 2015 they didn't happen primarily because of revenues from building and development. The deficits for 2016 and 2017 have or will happen so funds come out of the Reserve fund to cover the deficits. Since the potential for larger deficits was evident something had to happen before 2016 or at least after what should have been a wakeup call in 2016. I do not see adjustments in planning to cover projected deficits.
The budget for 2018 looks like a challenge and the Reserve fund will again be hit. Budgets beyond 2018 present a real concern! So now for some specific questions on the proposed 2018 budget: Non Major Funds - I see expenditures for 2017 are $4.7 million and for 2018 $9.2 million - why the doubling of expenditures, what is the $6.3 million capital outlay for? This expenditure creates a large deficit.
Park & Recs - why has their millage allotment gone from 1.1 to 2.0 mils; almost doubling ?
That's it for now. More digging into details to do.