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17-year no-hike streak lives on

December 20, 2001

17-year no-hike streak lives on



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


Washington Township taxpayers will keep a no-tax-hike streak going again next year - the 17th in a row - following adoption of the 2002 budget by Township Supervisors.

The new budget approved this week came in at $6.8 million for the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1 and will require the same 2.4-mill tax rate. The 2001 budget was $7 million.

A mill, which represents $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value, brings in about $95,000, said Township Manager Michael A. Christopher.

The amount the township receives in earned income taxes keeps going up each year and is a big factor in keeping real estate taxes down, Christopher said.

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"It's our primary source of income," he said.

In Pennsylvania, one cent for every dollar earned is split 50-50 between the municipality and the local school district. For Washington Township that represents $1.8 million. Half goes to the Waynesboro Area School District and half to the township.

The township population is 11,500.

While taxes remain stable, hauling contractors who dump recyclables and refuse at the township's recycling facility and trash transfer station will see significant hikes in next year's fees.

According to Christopher, the cost of dumping a ton of recyclables - from newspaper to glass bottles to tin cans - is increasing by $10 a ton, to $35.

Individuals can still drop off recyclables free of charge, he said.

The bottom has dropped out of many markets that accept recyclables from the township's facility, Christopher said.

Newspaper, which brought up to $85 a ton at the beginning of the year, has dropped to around $40 a ton. There is no market for green glass which the township has to pay $300 a load to haul away, he said.

The market for tin and steel cans dropped from $45 a ton last year to $15 a ton now, he said.

"Our expenses are the same but our income has been cut," Christopher said.

Markets for clear and brown glass remain stable at around $50 a ton, he said.

The cost of dumping a ton of refuse at the transfer station is going up to $75 from $70, he said.

The cost for dumping a bag of refuse will be $1.75, up by 25 cents.

The need for a new scale house, at an estimated cost of $30,000, is the reason for the increases.

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