SANATOGA PA – If the now-approved 2013 Lower Pottsgrove budget is any guide, things should be looking up economically in the township next year. At least, that’s what the Board of Commissioners is banking on.
The budget accepted last Thursday (Dec. 20, 2012) only squeaked by in an unusually divided 3-2 board vote. However, commissioners unanimously agreed to its accompanying tax rates, including the four Act 511 or so-called “nuisance” taxes. Although those rates remain unchanged, the board’s budget committee – consisting of Commissioners James Kaiser and Michael McGroarty – bet on raising more revenue from renewed local growth. The budget indicates commissioners expect taxpayers collectively will buy and sell more property in the coming 12 months, and earn more money too.
The taxes, rates, and amounts of revenue the budget estimates each will raise, are:
An annual per capita tax. Fifteen dollars per person is collected for all individuals age 18 and older who live in Lower Pottsgrove. Of that amount, the Pottsgrove School District receives $10; the township, $5. Low-income senior citizens can apply to be exempted. Commissioners apparently believe the township will be home to slightly fewer people next year. Revenue: $34,500, $500 less than budgeted for 2012.
A real estate (or realty) transfer tax. One percent of the selling price of a property is charged to both sellers and buyers – for a total of 2 percent – when a deed is recorded. Montgomery County (PA)’s Recorder of Deeds collects the money and forwards 1 percent to the state, and a half-percent each to the school district and township. Commissioners are guessing the value of real estate will go up. Revenue: $125,000, which is $25,000 more than budgeted for 2012.
An earned income tax. One percent of wages paid to township residents is deducted by most employers from workers’ paychecks, and the money is forwarded to a collection agency. A half-percent each goes to the township and school district; both use Berkheimer Associates as their agent. Wages will go up too, commissioners seem to hope. Revenue: $1,530,000, which is $30,000 more than budgeted for 2012.
A municipal services tax. The annual $52 fee is collected from all employed persons in Lower Pottsgrove and is equally split – $26 each – by the township and school district. Even if they earn more, commissioners are guessing the numbers of those with jobs won’t vary. Revenue: $150,000, unchanged from 2012.
Act 511 is the Pennsylvania Legislature’s local tax enabling act. It authorizes a variety of different taxes for municipalities and school districts.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Dec. 20 meeting):
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