Bor­ough pro­poses tax in­crease

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Rob Hey­man

HAT­BORO >> Af­ter la­bor­ing to close a siz­able pro­jected short­fall in next year’s mu­nic­i­pal bud­get, the bor­ough re­vealed last week the of­fi­cial tax im­pact those ef­forts could have.

The bor­ough coun­cil Nov. 5 ap­proved a pre­lim­i­nary bud­get for 2019 that calls for a 4.4 per­cent in­crease in the mu­nic­i­pal tax rate for res­i­dents.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Bol­len­dorf said this would en­tail a $79 in­crease in taxes for a home­owner with a home as­sessed at the bor­ough av­er­age of $122,000.

The $7.3 mil­lion bud­get calls for a mill­age in­crease from 8.79 mills to 9.23 mills. A mill equates to $1 in taxes per $1,000 in as­sessed prop­erty val­u­a­tion.

The bud­get will be voted on in fi­nal form at the Dec. 3 coun­cil meet­ing.

The bor­ough was orig­i­nally faced with a $700,000 short­fall in the 2019 bud­get based on rev­enue pro­jec­tions and what some

bor­ough of­fi­cials called poor fi­nan­cial plan­ning over the last sev­eral years.

The cur­rent bud­get sum­mary shows pre­lim­i­nary rev­enue for 2019 of $6,847,673 and ex­pen­di­tures of $7,335,584, which equates to a short­fall of $487,911.

The coun­cil voted last month to dis­solve the five­mem­ber

bor­ough au­thor­ity, giv­ing it full rights to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s $3 mil­lion in as­sets. The coun­cil ex­pects to use $400,000 to help bal­ance the new bud­get. The re­main­der would be in­vested.

Of­fi­cials say this bud­get cy­cle will see the be­gin­nings of a more con­certed ef­fort to­ward bet­ter fi­nan­cial plan­ning go­ing for­ward. The bor­ough also will be­gin to ad­dress ne­glected ar­eas, such as cre­at­ing an al­lo­cated

fund for po­lice re­tire­ment pay­outs and im­prove­ments to the bor­ough hall build­ing.

Some form of tax im­pact was ex­pected as the new bud­get was be­ing worked on, given the short­fall and the need to fund ne­glected ser­vices and pro­grams. Of­fi­cials said the tax im­pact could have been sig­nif­i­cantly higher had they not had the op­tion of ac­quir­ing the bor­ough au­thor­ity’s as­sets.

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