Palmerton residents won't have to dig deep into their wallets next year.
Borough Council unanimously agreed on Thursday to grant tentative adoption to the 2013 budget, with no increase in the property tax rate.
If council were to approve a budget with no tax increase, it would leave the millage rate in check at 8.27 mills.
That would mean the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000, which would be assessed at $50,000, would again pay $413.50 in property taxes to the borough next year.
Borough Manager Rodger Danielson delivered the welcome news to council.
"All our departments are balanced," Danielson said. "All the taxes will remain the same."
Mayor Chris Olivia lauded Danielson for his announcement.
Danielson said if all goes as planned, council would likely advertise for final adoption of the budget at its Dec. 6 meeting.
Last December, council approved this year's $13,468,993 budget, which left the millage rate unchanged at 8.27 mills.
In 2010, residents actually saw a 1-mill reduction in their property tax rates, which lessened the millage rate from 9.27 to 8.27 mills. That meant the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000, which was assessed at $50,000, paid $413.50 in property taxes that year, down $50.50 from the $464 they paid in 2009. That budget did, however, call for a $10 increase in the monthly sewer rates
In 2009, residents saw a 19-percent hike in their property tax rates after council approved a budget that called for a 1.5 mill increase that raised the millage rate from 7.77 to 9.27 mills. That meant the owner of a $100,000 home, which was assessed at $50,000, paid $464, up $75 from the $389 they paid in 2008.
Also, as part of that budget, residents saw a 10-percent increase in their water rates as well, which resulted in a $1 more a month for a single person, and about $3.50 for a family of four.
Also on Thursday, council approved a revision to its Community Development Block Grant project.
That action came after Jim Martino, of the Carbon County Office of Planning and Development, conducted a revision and pre-award funds public hearing.
Martino said the borough is currently under contract with Nimaris Construction LP for the water/sewer improvement project. The contract amount is $492,961, he said.
The contract consists of replacing a waterline and fire hydrants, repaving streets and installing ADA required access, as necessary, to the 200 and 300 blocks of Lehigh Avenue, Martino said.
He said it is intended to use $66,454 from the borough's 2009 CDBG allotment; $98,760 from its 2010 CDBG funds; and $83,998 from its 2011 CDBG portion.
"Palmerton Borough has committed to using general fund money to pay the difference of the remaining balance upon completion of the project, and is requesting to be reimbursed that amount from their anticipated CDBG (funded year) 2012 and (funded year) 2013 funds," Martino said. "Also, Palmerton Borough is removing the 400 block from the street improvement project using (funded year) 2009 funds."