Macungie Council OKs Budget With Small Tax Hike
Faced with a drop in revenue, Macungie makes staff cuts and raises taxes by less than a mill.
Macungie Borough Council approved a $3.2 million budget Tuesday night that raises real estate taxes by less than a mill.
By a vote of 4-1, council passed a .68-mill tax hike bringing the millage rate to 7.63 mills. That increase means that a homeowner with property assessed at the borough average of $67,000 will pay $511 in 2012, or $45 more than this year.
Voting for the budget were Jean Nagle, Chris Becker, Robert Bogert and Joseph Sikorski. Outgoing Council President Guy Ramsey voted against it and David Boyko and Dorothy Kociuba were absent.
Faced with a serious decrease in revenues like real estate transfer taxes, the borough was originally looking at a $320,000 deficit and a tax hike of 3.5 mills, Ramsey said. That was whittled down to .68 mills with cuts that included elimination of a full-time police officer and other staff reductions.
Mayor Rick Hoffman, who vetoed the 2011 budget last year, was at the meeting Tuesday and signed the 2012 budget.
“The budget got a whole lot more complicated,” said Hoffman, adding that he was concerned about the cuts. “There is no way to do it without raising taxes.”
Ramsey said he voted against the budget because he felt it was a tough economy in which to be raising taxes. Asked what he would have cut to avoid the tax hike, he said he would have eliminated a public works position or reduced a full-time position to part-time.
The 2012 budget includes these staff changes:
-- Eliminating a 30-hours-per-week police officer position that is currently vacant.
-- The addition of funds to pay part-time officers for 40 hours a week to fill in.
-- Scaling back the jobs of the borough’s administrative assistant and the Macungie Institute’s building coordinator to 24 hours a week and the elimination of all benefits that go with those jobs.