Lower Merion Township will have close to $7 million in “unexpected and unbudgeted” business tax revenues for 2011 thanks to a settlement of disputed business tax obligations. The revenues have increased the undesignated fund balance for the 2012 budget from $10.6 million to $17.5 million and have township commissioners and administrators coming up with ideas on saving, spending and even refunding the money to taxpayers. Commissioner Jenny Brown suggested a property tax rebate that would reduce the property tax bills of Lower Merion homeowners by $0.0009 for each dollar of assessed value, or about $324.90 for the average property assessed at $361,000. The measure was not embraced by the majority of the board of commissioners, who have decided upon a more deliberate process to determine how best to use the tax windfall. Other ideas included debt reduction; replenishing monies to the equipment and capital reserve funds for future projects; and even refunding back the 10.8 percent property tax increase from 2011.
Source: Main Line Times; 12/8/2011 & 12/14/2011
Collegeville taxes steady
Collegeville Borough council adopted a 2012 budget that will retain the current 4-mill property tax rate. The average home assessed at $150,000 can expect a property tax bill of $600. Property tax revenue in the borough has been reduced by $5,000 for 2012 and the total budget figure of $955,000 for real estate tax revenue is in jeopardy due to an expected assessment appeal of the Acme shopping center. Real estate transfer tax revenue is stagnant and will remain at $50,000.
Source: The Mercury; 12/11/2011
Pottsgrove School District prepares early budget
The Pottsgrove School District has started the budget process early because it intends to apply for Act 1 exceptions that will allow the district to raise school property taxes above the index set by the state. By state law, if a school district is applying for Act 1 exceptions a complete preliminary budget must be in place by Jan. 5, even though the budget does not have to be finalized until June. Under the Act 1 cap, Pottsgrove would be limited to a 2.2 percent property tax increase, which would amount to a $92 school tax increase for the average property. The district is investigating applying for special exceptions that would add an additional 1.26 percent to the Act 1 cap, amounting to $53 more in school property taxes for a total increase of $145 for the average homeowner. The proposed tax increase would still leave an $864,000 budget deficit.
Source: The Mercury; 12/11/2011
Cheltenham Township invites resident participation
The Cheltenham Township Board of Supervisors has extended an invitation to residents of the township to apply for positions on various citizen advisory boards, commissions and committees in 2012. Registered voters in Cheltenham Township who are interested should mail requests to Cheltenham Township Manager David G. Kraynik, 8230 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027 by Dec. 21. Please visit www.cheltenhamtownship.org for more information about the committees via the “Government” link. Openings are available on a wide variety of citizen committees including: historical commission, human relations commission, library board, planning commission and more.
Source: Glenside News; 12/13/2011
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