Lehigh Valley

2018 South Whitehall budget includes new fire tax

The property tax rate will not increase

S. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - It's official. Next year's South Whitehall Township budget will include the new fire tax.

Commissioners voted 4-0 Wednesday to advertise the 2018 budget that features the new tax, but keeps the property tax rate steady. The board is scheduled to vote on the spending plan at its Dec. 20 meeting.

The fire tax, sometimes known as a fire apparatus tax, would be based on a property tax millage rate of 0.47 mills. A taxpayer with a property assessed at $250,000 would pay $117 a year or $9.75 a month. The tax will go toward funding the township’s four volunteer fire stations. The tax is projected to generate more than $1.07 in revenue.

The 2018 real estate tax rate will remain at the current 2.49 mills, and trash service fees for residents would be unchanged at $280 a year.

Sewer rates will not increase next year with the rate remaining at $3.99 per 1,000 gallons or a $62.50 minimum charge for residential customers.

No increase in the water rate is expected with the number remaining at $5.00 per 1,000 gallons with a $25.00 base charge.

Money from the water fund will pay for several projects in 2018 to improve the township’s water system, such as $875,000 for water main replacements and upgrades as well as $399,248 for water facility improvements and equipment.

Capital fund expenses are projected to be over $1.5 million and will inlcude for several road projects, including Hamilton Boulevard corridor improvements. Capital expenses will also go toward providing police with four replacement vehicles with radio equipment, two automatic license plate readers and watch guard video.

The general fund is projected to have an unappropriated reserve of $400,000 in 2018.

Board Vice-President Glenn Block was absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

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