Coaldale trims tax hike to 2 mills
Coaldale Borough Council on Tuesday adopted a 2011 budget fueled by a trimmed-down property tax increase of 2 mills.
The proposed budget had called for a 2.5 mill increase.
The additional 2 mill levy brings the tax rate from 20.54 to 22.54 mills.
That means the owner of a home assessed for taxes at $25,000 will pay $563.50 in property tax next year. That's $50 more than this year's bill.
The spending plan anticipates about $1.5 million in expenses. Each mill generates about $20,000.
The millage breaks down to 19.54 mills for the general fund; 1.5 mills for street lighting; 1 mill for fire protection and 0.5 mill for the pension fund.
Council trimmed the spending plan by cutting half a mill from the street light budget.
Councilman Steve Tentylo was the sole opposing vote to adopt the budget. Councilman Andrew Girard was absent.
Council also cut a planned $10,000 allocation to the borough's volunteer fire company to $2,500. Fire Chief Richard Marek told council he was grateful for whatever the fire company received, although he did say he would likely ask for help again next year.
Marek said the fire company recently received a $500 donation from Lehigh Natural Resources for a controlled burn of a dilapidated office trailer.
Councilwoman Nancy Lorchak and Councilman Tom Keerans, both on the Budget and Finance Committee, in response to pleas from resident Paul Coppie and from Councilman Joe Hnat to cut the tax hike, pointed to the former Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co., since acquired by BET Inc.
The company, they said, owes the borough about $60,000 in delinquent property tax. Further, some residents fail to pay their trash collection fees, they said.
Further, the borough's Workers Compensation premiums doubled this year to $20,000 - about one mill.