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No increase for Lower Towamensing taxpayers

Published November 22. 2011 05:01PM

Once again, residents who live in Lower Towamensing Township are expected to see no increase in their property tax rates.

All indications point to yet another year free of a tax increase, based on a budget workshop conducted by the township's board of supervisors on Monday.

If that's in fact the case, that would leave the property tax rate unchanged at 1.6 mills. For taxpayers that own a home valued at $100,000, which would be assessed at $50,000, they would again pay $80 to the township in property taxes.

Next year's budget shows revenue at $1,840,899, and expenditures of $703,050. The township anticipates a final balance of $1,302,478.

Supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert said smart fiscal planning has played a key role in the absence of a tax increase for many years.

"Every year since 2007, we've been able to steadily increase our reserve," Walbert said. "The bottom line has gone up, so everybody gets a pat on the back for that."

Supervisors indicated they are in favor of a 3 percent increase for its five township employees.

Also, supervisors said they would raise the township's contribution rate of the local services tax to the Aquashicola Fire Department from 28 to 30 percent.

"It's not going to be a big amount of money, but it's an increase," Walbert said. "They do a lot of good work."

However, Walbert noted the township is faced with a $473 deficit in the light fund. Therefore, he proposed the township look to raise the rate 10 cents, from 25 to 35 cents per front foot.

The average person with a 50-foot frontage would see a $5 increase, while a person with a 30-foot frontage would see about a $3 increase, Walbert said.

"Everybody associated with the township is doing a great job," he said. "We're pretty much saving on everything we do."

Supervisors plan to grant the budget final adoption when it meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 13.

The budget is available for public inspection at the township municipal building.

This year, supervisors approved a 2 percent raise in salary for township employees, as well as a $1 an hour raise for road foreman Charles Shupp and a 50 cent an hour raise for road administrator Kathy Wallace. Also as part of that budget, senior citizens received a $10 discount on their garbage fees.

In 2010, supervisors approved a budget that left the property tax rate unchanged, and also called for a 2 percent raise in salary for township employees.

In 2009, supervisors passed a budget that kept taxes in check, and included a 5 percent raise in the light tax, which raised the rate from 25 cents to 30 cents per front foot for Aquashicola residents who lived within 250 feet of a street light.

Also as part of that budget, supervisors increased the township's contribution rate of the local services tax to the Aquashicola Fire Department, from 25 percent to 28 percent.

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