If a preliminary budget proposal approved by Lower Saucon Township Council Wednesday is ultimately adopted before the end of the year, it will be more expensive to both live and work in the township in 2018.
The proposed $11.3 million 2018 township budget calls for a .5 mill increase in the township’s millage rate, which would translate to a $50 per year increase in the property tax bill for a home assessed at $100,000, Channel 69 News reported.
The township’s total tax rate would increase to 5.89 mills if the increase is adopted, meaning the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 would pay $589 next year, according to figures quoted in an article published by the news station, which also reported that half of the tax increase would be to help offset the township’s fire tax.
“Funding for new firetrucks for our volunteer fire companies has been a continual budget strain and part of the reason we are recommending increasing the fire tax by a .25 mill, which results in approximately $110,000.00 in additional revenue per year for a total of $216,000.00,” township manager Leslie Huhn said in a 2-page highlighted introduction to the 2018 proposed budget.
Huhn also noted that the township’s employee medical expenses are expected to increase by 7.5 percent in 2018.
The ongoing review of Pennsylvania’s Casino Grant Funding program by the state–a program that was ruled unconstitutional by the PA Supreme Court last year–means “further grant application rounds have been postponed” and “reinstatement of another (township police) officer is not advised at this time,” she wrote.
The proposed 2018 budget also calls for increasing the local services tax in the township from $25 to the maximum amount allowed by law, which is $52.
The Saucon Valley School District receives $5 from the levy, which is imposed upon everyone who works in the township.
Click here to view a copy of the 67-page 2018 proposed budget, page 5 of which lists the local, school district and combined millage rates for all Northampton Count municipalities as of July 12, 2017.
The proposed tax hike in Lower Saucon Township echoes Hellertown Borough Council’s recent approval of a 2018 borough budget that also includes a .5 mill property tax increase.
The next Lower Saucon Township Council meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Lower Saucon Town Hall, 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem.