No tax increase expected in Lehighton
Although Lehighton Borough Council has yet to officially present its 2012 budget, borough manager Nicole Beckett said there will be no tax hike.
The tentative budget will be unveiled at a special meeting of the council at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
Last year the council increased taxes by a half-mill, which puts the present levy at 4.5 mills.
That tax hike could have been higher, but council opted to increase by $80,000 the transfer of funds from the Light and Power Department to the General Fund in 2011. This increase had no impact on electric rates in the borough.
In other matters:
• The council agreed to hire Hutchinson, Gillahan & Freeh, P.C. of Quakertown to do the annual borough audit.
The firm was hired to do audits for the next three years at a cost of $16,000 for 2011, $16,400 for 2012, and $16,900 for 2013.
The rate is less than the council is presently paying for the annual audit.
• Beckett said a request had been made by the Centax Corporation to collect the Local Services Tax, which currently are collected by local tax collector Mary Strohl.
The council agreed it will continue to have Strohl make the collections.
• A sewer project on East Side Avenue has been completed as of Oct. 15 and a borough ordinance mandates residents connect within 60 days.
The council agreed that because winter is near, the connections won't be required until next June.
The connection fee is $4,000, the council said.
Residents can pay the full amount up front; or, they have the option of a $525 down payment with the balance to be made in quarterly payments of $575 over two years with some addition fees, including 2 percent interest, imposed.