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Taxes Will Go Up in Macungie

Council approves preliminary budget and some borough employees' hours will be cut and their benefits eliminated.

At a special meeting Monday, Macungie Council approved a preliminary budget for 2012 that which will be on public display for 10 business days in Borough Hall until it's approved at another special meeting on Dec. 27.

In a 4-3 vote council voted to raise taxes by .68 of a mil that will bring in about $45,000 to cover next year's borough expenses.

The owner of a home worth $150,000 -- with an assessed value of $75,000 -- will pay an additional $51 next year.

Council members Jean Nagle, Chris Becker, Bob Bogert and Joe Sikorski voted in favor of the spending plan and Dorothy Kociuba, Dave Boyko and Guy Ramsey voted against it.

Months ago, Borough Manager Chris Boehm presented council a budget that spent $12,000 less than the 2011 budget but was still short due to severely decreased revenue in the form of magistrate fines, real estate transfer taxes and income tax money.

And even with the tax hike, the 2012 budget comes up about $44,000 short of balance. The shortfall will be spanned using the year-to-year carry-over money the borough usually uses to pay its bills from January through April each year, until new tax money starts coming in.

The carry-over had been kept at $350,000 for the past several years but in 2012 will be $306,000. Other stipulations of the 2012 budget include:

* Elimination of a full-time police officer, bringing the borough's total full-time officers to five.

* Elimination of a 30-hour-per-week officer

* Additional funding to the police department -- a total of $44,000 -- to fund police officers who will cover part-time shifts and to fund officers' overtime.

* Reduction of the Macungie Institute building coordinator's job to 24 hours per week and the elimination of the medical benefits that go with that job.

* Reduction of the borough's administrative assistant's job to 24 hours per week and the elimination of the medical benefits that go with that job.

The proposed budget will be approved and the budget ordinance adopted at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Macungie Institute. 

David December 15, 2011 at 12:37 AM
atthebeach, if you think it was about the police chief's ego then you know nothing about what actually went on.
Kelly December 15, 2011 at 04:09 AM
agree with you "another voice"
ron December 15, 2011 at 05:28 AM
yes the mayor was proven correct in court, but there are many ridiculous laws and this is one of them.99.9 percent of mayors realize they should let well trained experienced police chiefs do there jobs with proper oversite not micro managing, thats what good goverment does they hire people with experience, knowledge and expertise and let them do there jobs. most mayors have commen sense and dont overstep the scope of there knowledge but our mayor has no commen sense and wanted to start trouble frome the very start.remember council,chief and former mayor all worked well no lawsuits no bickering no waste of money. former councils mayors and chiefs never had this problem it all comes down to one thing mr hoffman being elected as mayor he trying to blame others but the trouble started as soon as he took office. i accually belive this law will be changed someday because of fools like our mayor. oh another voice its nice to read a post frome someone who knows whats going on!
Ron Beitler December 15, 2011 at 03:08 PM
As for Macungie and Alburtis, voters really need to step up. If you are unhappy with the way things are VOTE. If your really ambitious, RUN. Identifying AND supporting good candidates is important exp in these small boroughs where important decisions are made by council people who are elected by maybe a cpl hundred (in Alburtis case just over 100) people. Personally as a business owner in Macungie I would like to see the streetscape plans that were being developed by the main st. revitalization committee revisited. Unfortunately I think in this climate good positive ideas like this take the back seat. Macungie is such a nice place. I had such a great time at the "Macungie Holiday" festivities recently. I really pull for the borough. Even as a resident of LMT I consider Macungie my "Main Street". I'm positive the situation and tax base of a thriving commercial district on main would help immensely.
ron December 15, 2011 at 05:49 PM
great comment, voters do need to step up and people do need to get involved. in two years we will vote again hopefully we wont have to settle for officials who win just because their name was the only one on the ballot. Ron thank you for investing in our town

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