At a special meeting Monday, Macungie Council approved a preliminary budget for 2012 that which will be on public display for 10 business days in Borough Hall until it's approved at another special meeting on Dec. 27.
In a 4-3 vote council voted to raise taxes by .68 of a mil that will bring in about $45,000 to cover next year's borough expenses.
The owner of a home worth $150,000 -- with an assessed value of $75,000 -- will pay an additional $51 next year.
Council members Jean Nagle, Chris Becker, Bob Bogert and Joe Sikorski voted in favor of the spending plan and Dorothy Kociuba, Dave Boyko and Guy Ramsey voted against it.
Months ago, Borough Manager Chris Boehm presented council a budget that spent $12,000 less than the 2011 budget but was still short due to severely decreased revenue in the form of magistrate fines, real estate transfer taxes and income tax money.
And even with the tax hike, the 2012 budget comes up about $44,000 short of balance. The shortfall will be spanned using the year-to-year carry-over money the borough usually uses to pay its bills from January through April each year, until new tax money starts coming in.
The carry-over had been kept at $350,000 for the past several years but in 2012 will be $306,000. Other stipulations of the 2012 budget include:
* Elimination of a full-time police officer, bringing the borough's total full-time officers to five.
* Elimination of a 30-hour-per-week officer
* Additional funding to the police department -- a total of $44,000 -- to fund police officers who will cover part-time shifts and to fund officers' overtime.
* Reduction of the Macungie Institute building coordinator's job to 24 hours per week and the elimination of the medical benefits that go with that job.
* Reduction of the borough's administrative assistant's job to 24 hours per week and the elimination of the medical benefits that go with that job.
The proposed budget will be approved and the budget ordinance adopted at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Macungie Institute.