Res­i­dents to re­ceive tax hike

The Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

Res­i­dents in Lower More­land will see a slight change to their tax bill in 2013. The pre­lim­i­nary bud­get passed by the Lower More­land Board of Com­mis­sion­ers Nov. 13 calls for an in­crease in taxes to help cover grow­ing town­ship ex­penses.

Ac­cord­ing to Town­ship Man­ager Rick Mel­lor, res­i­dents’ homes as­sessed at the town­ship av­er­age of $210,000 will see a $32-ayear in­crease in 2013 due to a 4 per­cent in­crease in the 2013 bud­get. Due to the in­crease in ex­pen­di­tures, the town­ship mill­age was also in­creased by 4 per­cent to 3.516. Cur­rently, Mel­lor said res­i­dents’ homes as­sessed at the town­ship av­er­age pay about $706 a year. With the tax in­crease, those res­i­dents will be pay­ing ap­prox­i­mately $738 a year.

While the town­ship rev­enue is not grow­ing, ac­cord­ing to Mel­lor, the ex­pen­di­tures have in­creased next year be­cause of con­trac­tual in­creases in salaries and a 9 per­cent in­crease in the cost RI KHDOWK EHQH­fiWV.

Mel­lor said taxes were not raised last year and were last raised for the 2011 bud­get. He said res­i­dents’ monthly bills were ac­tu­ally re­duced last year due to a re­duc­tion in sewer and trash col­lec­tion costs. These costs, he said, will not change for 2013.

“The town­ship re­mains fo­cused on stew­ard­ship of tax dol­lars as the pro­posed mill­age rate re­mains lower than it was 12 years ago when in 2000 the rate was 3.599. How­ever, with ris­ing fuel costs, la­bor costs, health

care costs and much more over that time, it has only been pos­si­ble to op­er­ate by un­der­fund­ing such ar­eas as cap­i­tal im­prove­ments, the re­serve fund and parks and re­cre­ation,” Lower More­land Town­ship posted in a press re­lease. “The 2013 bud­get be­gins to bet­ter ad­dress cap­i­tal pur­chases and im­prove­ments in­clud­ing the re­place­ment of ag­ing pub­lic works equip­ment, po­lice ve­hLFOHV Dnd firH rHVFuH HTuLp­ment ... . The fo­cus of all of these ex­pen­di­tures is to im­prove the qual­ity of life for the lo­cal community.”

The board of com­mis­sion­ers will vote on the fi­nal bud­get Dec. 19 and ask res­i­dents to re­view the bud­get be­fore­hand for any ques­tions or com­ments.

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