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No tax increases for Penn Forest Township in 2013

Published January 02. 2013 08:10AM

Penn Forest Township held its year-end meeting last Thursday. The main purpose of the meeting was to pass the township operating budget for 2013.

The budget was adopted as proposed. The tax rates for 2013 will be the same as 2012.

• Real Estate tax is 3 mills.

• Per Capita is $5.

• Transfer tax and Earned Income tax are both 1/2 of 1 percent, split with the Jim Thorpe Area School District.

• Amusement tax is 2.5 percent.

The townships contribution to the fire companies is different this year. In the past, both Penn Forest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 and No. 2 would each receive the same dollar amount. As it stands as of Thursday's meeting, Penn Forest No. 2 will be receiving $55,000. Penn Forest No. 1 will be receiving $45,000.

"The reason for the reduction in the amount contributed to Penn Forest 1, is that after the township's recent use of the fire hall at Penn Forest 1, the fire company asked the township to pay the $250 fee for use of the hall," said Paul Montemuro, chairman of the board of supervisors.

"We understand that the money is to cover the cost of heat, set up and cleaning, but the township already gives the fire company money and by charging the township to use the hall, the taxpayers of Penn Forest are being asked to pay twice."

Montemuro continued.

"When we grant this money to the fire companies, we require them to use it for equipment, training, fuel and other fire department-related expenses. At December's supervisors' meeting we agreed, unanimously, to permit the fire company to transfer $250 into the hall account whenever the township used the hall, providing that the fire company provided the supervisors with a letter spelling out the terms.

"As of the meeting, we have not received that letter. Until we receive the letter clarifying the position, we will hold the $10,000 to cover these types of expenses."

The supervisors also voted to raise the mileage reimbursement rate to $0.565 for 2013. This rate is consistent with the federal allowance.

"There are no tax increases for 2013. Penn Forest Township is financially sound. Out of the five surrounding townships, we are the only township not raising taxes for this coming year," Montemuro said.

The township is planning it's reorganization meeting for Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m., to be followed by the regular supervisors' meeting. The planning commission will hold its reorganization meeting on Jan. 28. That same evening, the Navitat zip line is scheduled to be on the agenda.

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