Montco Commissioners Adopt Budget And Tax Hike

NORRISTOWN PA — By a unanimous vote Wednesday (Dec. 21, 2011), Montgomery County (PA) commissioners adopted a 2012 budget totaling $417.4 million that restores many previously proposed spending cuts, but which also contains a tax increase for the first time in a decade.

The county’s tax rate will rise about 17 percent, or an additional $77 on the “average” home with an assessed value of $168,296. The tax bill for the owner of that home would increase from $453 to $530 next year, county Communications Director John Corcoran said.

The budget restores full funding for Montgomery County Community College, the county library system (including county money designated to be spent at the Pottstown Regional Public Library) and Elmwood Park Zoo. It also restores most but not all funding for the Parks and Heritage Services and Planning departments; those and others threatened earlier with elimination or draconian cuts will instead see a 2.5-percent decrease, according to Corcoran.

More than 300 people showed up for a public hearing on the budget proposed last month by the three-member county Board of Commissioners. An overwhelming majority urged them to restore at least some of suggested cuts. In addition, more than 5,000 budget-related comments were received at the county’s website and by email; another 3,500 came in on comment cards, petitions and through Facebook.

Commissioners heeded them, Corcoran indicated.

The final budget as adopted can be viewed in summary form here.

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