Macungie Tax Hike Could Shoot Much Higher
Council reorganizes then votes to reopen the 2012 Budget.
Macungie Council reorganized at it's Tuesday meeting with the addition of Debra Cope, Linn Walker and Greg Hutchison.
Once sworn in, Hutchison moved to nominate veteran council member Jean Nagle to be president of council. With a second by council member Walker, the motion was passed in a 4-3 vote with Cope, Joseph Sikorski and David Boyko dissenting.
Walker then moved to appoint Hutchison vice president, and Hutchison seconded his own nomination. The second vote mirrored the first.
After addressing new procedures for the new council, Borough Manager Chris Boehm appealed to the board to reopen the 2012 budget that was passed Dec. 27.
"I am asking council to adopt a budget that will restore the quality of life in the borough.
"I have a proposed budget that includes a 2-mil tax increase...that will restore a full-time police officer, will restore to full-time the administrative assistant and Macungie Institute building coordinator's jobs, will pay for the electricity to have holiday lights, banners and will give the Lions Club the money to run the Halloween Parade," Boehm said.
There will be no Halloween parade, she said, if the money provided to the Lions for it is not restored.
The budget that passed in December called for a tax hike of .68 of a mil for a total millage of 7.63, up from 6.95 mils in 2010.
That increases compare as follows for a homeowner with property assessed at the borough average of $67,000:
|Current 2012||$511||+ $45||7.63 mils|
|Proposed 2012||$658||+ $193||
Only Cope and Boyko voted against the motion to open the budget which only has a small window of time in which to be examined and changed. According to state law it must be be analyzed, displayed again for 10 working days and passed by Feb. 15.
Cope asked why the new proposals were not presented to the old council.
"That council was never going to agree," Boehm replied, "I'm hoping this new council will consider what I have to say. The budget we have is fantasy. It's skewed."
The budget will be ready for re-examination council's next meeting on Jan. 16.