Call it an early Christmas present.
Residents of Palmer Township will find under their Christmas trees a 2013 municipal budget that does not have a tax increase in it for the fifth straight year.
Township Manager Christopher Christman, who put together the budget with township staff, stated that "we worked very hard to control expenses."
Supervisor Bob Lammi was thrilled with the outcome.
"The township has done a good job," Lammi said. "I just question how many more years we'll be able to do that."
Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver went over each page of the 35-page budget at Tuesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting, running through the budgets for public works, police, fire, parks and recreation and public safety.
He said a good chunk of the budget comes from health insurance, which rises every year for most municipalities.
"The bottom line is that there is just no fluff in these line items," said Colver, who was handling his 16th budget as supervisor. "There are fixed costs that don't move. There's no room there."
The total budget for 2013 is $20,005,362 with a general fund of $9,163,815. The 2012 budget is $19,484,692 with a general fund of $11,262,299.
"All our departments do a fantastic job," Supervisor Robert Smith said.
"It makes our job a lot easier," Supervisor K. Michael Mitchell said.
Supervisors approved a motion to advertise the budget, meaning that it will be available for review by the public Wednesday.
The budget must be approved by supervisors by the end of the year.