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No Tax Hike in 2013 under Upper Macungie's Proposed Budget

Upper Macungie Township residents would pay more for sewer services next year but garbage and recycling fees would be down.

Upper Macungie's proposed 2013 budget would again hold the line on taxes, even as the township prepares to open its own police department in January.

Township residents would pay $16 more in sewer fees, but their garbage and recycling fees would decrease by $60, said township treasurer Barry Moyer.

The proposed 2013 budget is $13.7 million, a decrease of $2.7 million from the current year. Moyer said the 2012 budget was higher because it included the $2.2 million construction cost of the township's new police department building and the township's final $200,000 payment to the Parkland School district for the Lone Lane Park land.

"This budget is lean and mean," said Moyer. "There are no major expenses in this budget. I don't know where we can cut anymore out of it."

Under the proposed budget, property taxes would remain at 2 mills (although the towship may have to adjust its millage rate once Lehigh County's reassessments numbers are in), sewer fees would increase to $356 from $340, and garbage and recycling fees would decrease to $288 from $348.  

A homeowner whose property is assessed at $200,000 would continue to pay $400 in taxes next year.

Township employees would see a 1.98 percent pay raise -- 45 cents an hour increase -- under the proposed budget. The township has 53 full and part-time employees and anticipates adding 27 police officers.

As a member of the Berks-Lehigh Regional Police force, Upper Macungie contributed $2.8 million to the regional operation. Now that Upper Macungie is creating its own police force, the township anticipates police costs to only increase about $200,000 a year, Moyer said.

The lower garbage and recycling fee is the result of the township's new contract with a new hauler. Waste Management will replace Raritan Valley in trash collection, he said.

The supervisors will vote on the budget at their Dec. 6 meeting.

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