Souderton doubles proposed tax increase
Remember that 3.7 percent property tax hike proposal in Souderton?
Well, forget it. It’s so last week after Souderton Borough Council decided Oct. 22 to more than double it to 7.66 percent.
The proposed 2013 budget will be officially presented in November, with a final vote coming in December, but if there’s no change to the now proposed 5.375 mill rate, it would increase the borough property tax bill on a home assessed at $125,000 to $671.88, one assessed at $150,000 to $806.25, and $940.63 for a property assessed at $175,000. The corresponding bills at this year’s 4.9925 mill rate would have been $624.07, $748.88 and $873.70. Each mill equals $1 of tax per $1,000 of assessed value.
With the proposed $2.6 million 2013 general fund budget already at $300,000 less than the borough spent in 2011, council members said they can’t cut any further and need more income to balance the books. The amount coming in from earned income, local services and real estate transfer taxes, though, is decreasing.
This year’s budget projected $929,000 of income from the combined per capita, real estate transfer, earned income and local services taxes, but the borough is now ex- pecting to fall short of those numbers. Newly revised budget figures given at the Oct. 22 meeting put the bottom line for income from those taxes for next year’s budget at $826,500.
“It’s quite a difference in revenue out of these core taxes that has to be made up,” Mike Coll, borough manager, said.
The decreases in the earned income and local services taxes are probably caused in part by the slow economy and in part by corrections having been made to Souderton previously having mistakenly received money from the tax that should have gone to other municipalities in cases in which businesses or people have a Souderton mailing address but are not within the borough, he said.
Due to reassessments, the total assessed value of property within the borough is also decreasing.
Oct. 15, Coll suggested the property tax rate be increased next year to 5.175 mills, a 3.7 percent hike, but some council members said that might not be enough.
Oct. 22, he brought in revised figures showing another 0.1 mill increase, bringing the total to 5.275 mills. He also decreased next year’s projected spending slightly, changing the budgeted amount for the police department to $1,057,957. The