Sellersville projects 9 per­cent tax hike

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Celona

Sellersville Bor­ough res­i­dents can ex­pect to see an in­crease when they re­ceive their 2013 tax bills.

The bor­ough’s pro­posed bud­get in­cludes a 9.38 per­cent tax in­crease, whLFh ERURuJh RI­fiFLDOV VDLd LV QHFes­sary pri­mar­ily due to a drop in real es­tate taxes fol­low­ing the de­moliWLRQ RI 8.6. GDuJH.

The pro­posed 2013 bud­get sets the mil­lage rate at 17.5 mills, up from 16 mills in 2012. A mill equates to $1 in taxes per $1,000 in as­sessed prop­erty value. For a res­i­dence as­sessed at the bor­ough av­er­age of $21,000, the tax bill would come to $367.50, up $31.50 from the cur­rent year.

While taxes would go up un­der the pro­posed bud­get, sewer and trash col­lec­tion fees are pre­dicted to stay the same, ac­cord­ing to Bor­ough Man­ager David Rivet.

On the rev­enue side of the bud­get, the bor­ough is pre­dict­ing ap­prox­i­mately $2.463 mil­lion in gen­eral fund rev­enue, which is slightly more than the cur­rent year, ac­cord­ing to Rivet.

Rivet said most taxes, in­clud­ing the earned in­come tax, have stayed

pretty steady, but the prop­erty tax is where the bor­ough has seen a ma­jor drop.

“:H’YH EHHQ flDW IRU WKH most part, but one of our big­gest prob­lems with the real es­tate taxes is we’ve had a drop in our as­sess­ment with the de­mo­li­tion of the U.S. dauge. We’ve not had the rev­enue from the real es­tate taxes,” he said, not­ing as­sess­ments are also down across the bor­ough. “That’s one of the driv­ing forces why we’re in­creas­ing our mil­lage rate just be­cause if we stood still, we’d be in a neg­a­tive po­si­tion on that.”

U.S. dauge, a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture mea­sure­ment prod­ucts, was a ma­jor em­ployer in Sellersville and had sev­eral build­ings in the bor­ough dat­ing back to 1904. Sev­eral of the build- ings were de­mol­ished in late 2010.

On the ex­pen­di­ture side, the gen­eral fund bud­get pro­poses ap­prox­i­mately $2.381 mil­lion in ex­penses, ac­cord­ing to Rivet.

Pro­posed ex­pen­di­tures in­clude $40,000 for road work on the lower end of Farm­ers Lane, re­place­ment of a util­ity truck with a plow and pur­chase of a salt ma­chine, ac­cord­ing to Rivet.

The bor­ough’s fee to the Perkasie Bor­ough Po­lice De­part­ment, which it con­tracts with for po­lice cov­er­age, is an­tic­i­pated to in­crease by $15,000 in 2013, while there will be a $13,000 in­crease in the bor­ough’s garbage con­tract, ac­cord­ing to Rivet. The bud­get also in­cludes a 3 per­cent raise for bor­ough staff.

In the cap­i­tal fund, the bud­get in­cludes fund­ing for ma­jor work on Wash­ing- ton Av­enue be­tween West Church and No­ble streets, ac­cord­ing to Rivet. The project calls for re­plac­ing the sewer, re­con­struct­ing the road and in­stalling side­walks.

The gen­eral fund pro­jec­tions an­tic­i­pate ap­prox­i­mately $82,000 more in rev­enue than ex­pen­di­tures, with any left­over funds go­ing into the bor­ough’s fund bal­ance.

Rivet said he would like to have more than $82,000 in case of un­ex­pected cir­cum­stances, such as hur­ri­canes and ex­treme weather events, which have been oc­cur­ring more and more fre­quently.

“There’s not a lot of breath­ing room right there,” he said. “I would char­ac­ter­ize it as a tight bud­get.”

Sellersville Bor­ough Coun­cil is set to vote on adopt­ing the bud­get at its Dec. 10 meet­ing.

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