Soud­er­ton eyes pos­si­ble 3.7 per­cent tax hike

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Bob Keeler

It looks like most Soud­er­ton home­own­ers can ex­pect to pay $25 to $30 more next year in bor­ough prop­erty taxes.

A bud­get pro­posal hik­ing taxes from 4.9925 mills to 5.175 — a 3.7 per­cent in­crease — was re­viewed at Soud­er­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil’s Oct. 15 ad­min­is­tra­tive work ses­sion.

“It’s about as low an in­crease we can put to­gether and still be some­what com­fort­able with the bud­get,” Bor­ough Man­ager Mike Coll said.

With a pro­posed 2013 gen­eral fund to­tal­ing $2,650,165 in in­come and ex­penses of $2,644,431, though, some of the coun­cil mem­bers weren’t feel­ing too com­fort­able.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Brian Goshow said he’d put ques­tion marks be­side sev­eral of the num­bers, par­tic­u­larly those on the in­come side, be­cause he wasn’t sure those num­bers could be achieved.

“With only $5,000 of wig­gle room, ev­ery one of those ques­tion marks I have be­comes po­ten­tially catas­troph- ic,” Goshow said.

Cuts in ex­penses were al­ready made last year, so it will be dif­fi­cult to find more places to cut back, he said.

“Ob­vi­ously, the only way to make that up is a big­ger push in the tax in­crease,” Goshow said.

Be­fore di­rect­ing Coll to in­crease the tax hike, though, coun­cil de­cided to hold an­other meet­ing at 7 p.m. Mon­day, Oct. 22 to go over the num­bers again.

The cur­rently pro­posed 0.1825 mill tax hike in­cludes 0.1 ad­di­tional mills for the gen­eral fund, tak­ing that from 4.65 to 4.75 mills, and a 0.0825 mill hike for the li­brary tax, tak­ing it from 0.165 to 0.2475 mills.

In the wake of the Soud­er­ton Area School Dis­trict drop­ping its for­mer 0.165 mill tax col­lec­tion for the li­brary, In­dian Val­ley Pub­lic Li­brary has asked the six mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the school dis­trict — Soud­er­ton, Telford, Fran­co­nia, Lower Sal­ford, Up­per Sal­ford and Sal­ford — to dou­ble their rates from 0.165 to 0.33 mills to make up the $440,000

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