Lehigh Valley

Hanover Township holds line on taxes for 2018

Volunteer Service Credit added

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - At its Tuesday meeting, Hanover Township, Northampton County, Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a 2018 budget that will include no tax increases. 

The millage rate, which has remained the same since 2008 and includes a fire tax of 0.5 mills, will hold steady at 3.90 mills. 

The township is expected to receive $2.1 million from property taxes next year.

The Earned Income Tax and local Services Tax will be 1 percent and $52, respectively. 

The balanced general fund is estimated to have $8.6 million on hand in 2018, which represents a $20,579.00 decrease from last year. 

The township is estimated to receive $850,000 in revenue for its Recreation Department. 

In other business, the board unanimously passed an ordinance establishing a Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights provides taxpayers with a procedure to contest the imposition of Act 511 taxes if they believe they were unfairly charged.  The ordinance covers the Per Capita Tax, Business Privilege Tax and the Earned Income Tax. 

H.A. Berkheimer, Inc. collects the township’s Per Capita and Business Privilege taxes. Keystone Collections Group collects residents’ Earned Income Taxes. Residents can request a copy of their rights from the collection agencies, at no charge, according to the ordinance.

If one of the collection agencies decides that a resident owes additional taxes, it must inform residents in writing of why they reached the decision, including the amount due and the legal grounds for the decision. 

If it is determined that a resident owes additional taxes or if a resident’s request for a tax refund is denied, the resident can file a petition with Keystone or Berkheimer to appeal the decision.

The board also passed 5-0 an ordinance rewarding volunteer firefighters with tax credits.

The ordinance creates a Volunteer Service Credit Program, which offers tax credits of up to $500 of the Earned Income Tax to township residents who work for the Hanover Township Volunteer Company. 

The Volunteer Fire Company chief will keep records of each resident’s service, and the chief or a supervisor will submit the information to the township.

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