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Property taxes to hold steady in '07

December 21, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Property taxes for Waynesboro residents will not increase in 2007.

In a unanimous decision Wednesday, the Waynesboro Borough Council voted to approve its 2007 budget and 2007 tax ordinances, which call for property taxes and Act 511 taxes to stay at current rates.

Councilman Jason Stains was absent.

The 2007 budget is a $9 million net spending plan with a $100,000 deficit to be funded out of cash reserve, borough manager Lloyd Hamberger said

Expenditures for 2007 will increase by about $66,000, but Hamberger said the budget is primarily "a maintenance budget" and is very similar to what was adopted for 2006.

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For residents of Waynesboro, a steady budget means steady taxes. Property taxes for 2007 will hold at 17.18 mills with one mill representing $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value. Hamberger explained that Act 511 taxes, which include per capita, mechanical devices and occupational taxes, also will remain at current rates.

The budget adopted Wednesday does not include a property tax increase or Act 511 tax increase, but 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 $5 occupational privilege tax ($5 goes to the Waynesboro Area School District) and is levied on people working in the borough of Waynesboro regardless of where they live.

The EMS tax will be levied on all workers in the borough, but Hamberger said some people will qualify for a refund of the tax in 2008. He explained that workers who make less than $12,000 in 2007 and can prove they paid the tax, may be eligible for a refund in 2008.

On Wednesday, the council tried to lighten the burden of the EMS tax and chose to allow employers to collect the tax from employees in four installments of $10 rather than one lump sum.

Hamberger anticipates the EMS tax to generate $160,000 which can be used to repair roads or defer the cost of police and fire services.

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

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