Mullica Township passed a budget Tuesday night, with no comment from the public, that will increase local taxes by 2.7 percent.

The $5.52 million budget is down slightly from last year, but more money must be raised in taxes because of falling tax collection rates and the loss of some grant money, Township Chief Financial Officer Dawn M. Stollenwerk said when the budget was introduced in March.

The local tax rate will go from $1.104 to $1.134 per $100 of valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at the average for the township, about $110,000, would see a local portion tax bill of $1,247 in 2013, up about $33 from last year.

The total tax rate, including county and school spending, would increase 4.3 percent. So, that same homeowner’s bill will be about $4,495 in 2013, which is $185 higher than 2012.

Township Committee also voted Tuesday to hire two retired police officers to be part-time, armed resource officers in the elementary and middle schools, which share a location at 500 Elwood Road, starting April 15. Paul C. Dooner and William J. Peacock will be paid $22 per hour and will each work about 20 hours a week providing a security presence when children are in school, Mayor Jim Brown said.

“The school district and chief of police did the hiring,” Brown said. “The (district) is funding the positions.”

Under an agreement, he said, the township will pay the officers and bill the Mullica School District for reimbursement.

The decision to place armed security in the schools was in response to the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., officials said during a March meeting, when the committee voted to begin the hiring process.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219