ALLENTOWN: Borough eyes 13-cent tax hike

By Maria Prato-Gaines, Packet Group
   ALLENTOWN — The Borough Council on Tuesday introduced a $2 million proposed budget, which would raise the municipal tax rate by about 13 cents.
   Although, borough officials are still anticipating changes to the budget, as it stands now the new tax rate is set at $1.24 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, according to Chief Financial Officer Robert Benick.
   This means the owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $154,500 would see an increase in their municipal taxes of about $202, paying $1,922, he explained.
   The preliminary budget total is about $19,000 less than the 2008 budget. But due to falling revenues, the amount to be raised by taxes is $1,274,097, an increase of $140,000 from last year.
   Borough officials are still in the process of applying for extraordinary aid, and Mr. Benick said there is no way of anticipating what amount Allentown would receive. He said last year the borough applied for $200,000 in extraordinary aid and received $100,000.
   If the borough receives the same amount in extraordinary aid as last year that would lower the average municipal tax increase from $202 to $46, although Mr. Benick said that is not a likely scenario.
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