West Rock­hill to avoid tax in­crease East Rock­hill to hold the line on taxes

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - ON THE RECORD - By Bob Keeler By Bob Keeler

West Rock­hill’s in­come is down 8.7 per­cent this year.

“The good news is ex­penses are down 9.1 per­cent,” dreg Lip­pin­cott, town­ship man­ager, said at the Nov. 21 West Rock­hill Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors meet­ing.

That means the town­ship will break even for the year, he said.

“We bud­geted for this. We knew this was coming,” Lip­pin­cott said.

The town­ship prop­erty tax rate re­mains the same next year un­der the pro­posed 2013 bud­get. At the 5.25 mill rate, the tax on a home as­sessed at $40,000 is $210. Each mill equals $1 of tax per $1,000 of as­sessed prop­erty value.

Next year’s pro­posed gen­eral fund bud­get to­tals $1,992,561.

It in­cludes $75,000 for road paving work, prob­a­bly on ei­ther Rich Hill Road or But­ter Creek Road; $20,000 for road work in part­ner­ship with Sellersville on Farm­ers Lane; and $13,000 for Hol­i­day House pool op­er­a­tions, Lip­pin­cott said. The pool is jointly owned and op­er­ated by West Rock­hill and Sellersville.

The cost of the town­ship’s gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion is bud­geted at $198,131; build­ing and grounds at $25,500; pub­lic safety po­lice at $1,096,508; firH SrRWHFWLRQ at $100,100; pub­lic works at $147,474; and em­ployee EHQH­fiWV DW $227,838.

The $1,992,561 gen­eral fund and $155,035 high­way aid fund each are balanced bud­gets with the same amount of in­come and ex­penses. Other funds in­clude the high­way cap­i­tal im­prove­ment fund, bud­geted to have $5,300 of in­come and $20,000 of ex­penses; the equip­ment fund, with $19,383 of in­come and no ex­penses; $275,175 in­come for the open space fund, with $199,589 of ex­penses; $14,425 of in­come for the park fund and $10,993 of ex­penses; and the street light fund with $10,928 of in­come and $6,000 of ex­penses.

The 5.25 mill rate in the prop­erty tax in­cludes 4.25 mills for the gen­eral fund, 0.75 PLOOV IRr WKH firH WD[ DQG 0.25 mills for road equip­ment.

$ fiQDO vRWH RQ :HVW 5RFNhill’s pro­posed 2013 bud­get is slated for the board’s meet­ing at 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Dec. 19.

As is also hap­pen­ing in other towns, one of the in­come ar­eas that has de­clined in West Rock­hill is the amount brought in by new con­struc­tion.

“:H PHW IRr WKH firVW WLPH since June — sign of the times,” Ben Botti, chair­man of the town­ship’s plan­ning com­mis­sion, said in giv­ing his monthly report to the su­per­vi­sors in Novem­ber.

In an­other mat­ter at the PHHWLQJ, WRwQVKLS RI­fiFLDOV said pot­holes are al­ready be­gin­ning to ap­pear.

“It’s wet and it’s cold, so they’re start­ing to pop up,” Lip­pin­cott said.

Prop­erty taxes in East Rock­hill won’t change next year.

“We’ll hold the line for 2013,” dary Volovnik, East Rock­hill Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors chair­man, said at the board’s Nov. 20 meet­ing.

Af­ter fur­ther dis­cus­sion wLWK :HVW 5RFNKLOO RI­fiFLDOV, East Rock­hill will also keep the amount it al­lo­cates to Pen­nridge Re­gional Po­lice De­part­ment at the same level as this year, the board said.

Board mem­bers had pre­vi­ously said they could no longer af­ford to split the costs of the re­gional de­part­ment 50/50 with West Rock­hill and that more of the po­lice ac­tiv­ity takes place in West Rock­hill. The cur­rent agree­ment, which will now con­tinue next year, splits the de­part­ment’s op­er­at­ing costs equally be­tween the two town­ships and pro­vides an equal num­ber of pa­trol hours to each.

The pro­posed $1,794,766 gen­eral fund bud­get for 2013 in East Rock­hill in­cludes $878,271 for the poOLFH, $122,000 IRr firH SrR­tec­tion, $55,180 for build­ing and grounds, $113,368 for code en­force­ment and $220,066 for pub­lic works. The gen­eral fund con­tin­ues to de­crease each year from LWV $2.225 PLOOLRQ fiJurH LQ 2007, DFFRrGLQJ WR fiQDQFLDO in­for­ma­tion on the town­ship’s web­site. A copy of the pro­posed 2013 bud­get is also avail­able on the web­site.

$ fiQDO vRWH LV VFKHGuOHG for the board’s 7 p.m. Tues­day, Dec. 11 meet­ing.

At the ex­ist­ing 8.135 mill tax rate, the owner of an East Rock­hill home as­sessed at the av­er­age rate pays about $325 per year in town­ship prop­erty taxes, ac­cord­ing to town­ship in­for­ma­tion. Each mill equals $1 per $1,000 of as­sessed prop­erty value. A $325 bill would be owed on prop­er­ties as­sessed at about $40,000.

The 8.135 mill rate in­cludes 5.225 mills for the gen­eral fund, 1 mill for the firH WD[, 1.26 PLOOV IRr EDVW Rock­hill’s por­tion of the mort­gage on the $2.3 mil­lion Pen­nridge Re­gional Po­lice sta­tion and 0.65 mills to re­pay a loan for the planned $1 mil­lion bridge re­place­ment on Rock­hill Road.

To­tal in­come and spend­ing for the com­bined gen­eral fund, open space, sewer fund, driv­ing range/park & recre­ation, Rock­hill Road bridge, po­lice head­quar­ters, cap­i­tal re­serve and state aid bud­gets is $3,417,553.

Although the tax rate will be un­changed in 2013, East Rock­hill sewer rates will in­crease by 10 per­cent from the cur­rent $100 per quar­teryear, equal­ing $400 per year, to $110 per quar­ter, or $440 per year.

In other mat­ters at the Nov. 20 meet­ing:

• 7KH WRwQVKLS LV SODQn­ing to get new print­ing equip­ment to make sewer bills more pri­vate, Mar­i­anne Mo­rano, town­ship sec­re­tary/ trea­surer, said.

“Right now, it’s a post card and ev­ery­body can see it,” Mo­rano said. “This way it would be sealed.”

• EDVW 5RFNKLOO LV VLJQing on for a new 24-month con­tract with PPL En­ergy Plus for elec­tric gen­er­a­tion at 6.237 cents per kil­lowatt hour.

“That’s like three cents less than the last con­tract,” board mem­ber David Ny­man said. “It’s a really good rate.”

• 7KH 1Rv. 1 GHDGOLQH JLven to Coun­try Hunt res­i­dents to re­move struc­tures, in­clud­ing swing sets and other play struc­tures, lo­cated on town­ship-owned open space has passed.

“A lot of peo­ple did com­ply,” Mo­rano said. There are three prop­er­ties that have not yet done so, though, she said.

The board de­cided to ex­tend the dead­line un­til the end of Jan­uary, af­ter which any re­main­ing struc­tures will be re­moved by the town­ship.

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