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Waynesboro council votes not to increase property tax rate

November 29, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Property taxes in the borough of Waynesboro will not increase in 2007 if borough council passes its preliminary $4 million spending plan approved on Tuesday.

The council adopted the preliminary budget in a unanimous vote with councilmen Jason Stains and Craig Newcomer absent.

While the preliminary plan adopted on Tuesday does not include a property tax increase, people working in the municipality will be subject to a $40 emergency and municipal services (EMS) tax.

Levied annually, borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said the EMS tax replaces the occupational privilege tax and is levied on people working in the borough of Waynesboro regardless of where they live.

Council debated levying a higher EMS tax Tuesday after Delmos Oldham, borough tax collector asked council to approve a $52 EMS tax.

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"As tax collector it will make my job easier," he said.

Expressing concern that the rate of $40 was already published, council president Richard George voted with councilmen Allen Berry and Allen Porter to set the EMS tax for 2007 at $40, with councilman Charles McCammon dissenting.

Hamberger said revenue from the EMS tax can be used to repair roads or defer the cost of police and fire services.

Expenditures for 2007 are set to increase by about $66,000, with $20,000 of that earmarked for increased costs related to employee benefits.

If the preliminary plan is adopted in December, the real estate tax rate in 2007 will likely remain at 17.18 mill. The borough expects to collect 2.3 mill for street lights and 3 mills for street rehabilitation. A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

Borough officials are predicting local real estate and income taxes to generate more than $2 million in 2007.

The budget is scheduled for final adoption on Dec. 20.

Jennifer Fitch contributed to this story.

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