Lehigh Valley

Lower Macungie voters will have final say on tax increase

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - The Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners approved a referendum question that will directly ask voters whether they want to pay more taxes.

The question, which will be placed on the Nov. 5 municipal election ballot, centers on imposing a library tax on property owners for the Lower Macungie Library. The question approved during Thursday night's meeting will ask voters "Shall Lower Macungie Township establish a special library tax to provide for the maintenance of and aid to the Lower Macungie Library at the rate of .25 mills on the dollar on all taxable real estate within Lower Macungie Township?"

That translates to an additional $62.50 per year for a home assessed at $250,000, according to Township Manager Bruce Beitel. The tax hike would bring in another $600,000 for the library. The manager added the library has seen donations "slow to a trickle."

If the tax is approved, President Ronald W. Beitler added that since it is a property tax, all new development in the township would have to pay to support the library, which is not currently the case.

In other news, a request by the Jaindl Land Co. to waive traffic impact for Jaindl Commercial Park North were delayed once again, this time at the request of the developer. The request, which was on the evening's formal agenda, never came to fruition. Jaindl attorney Joseph Zator contacted township solicitor Peter Lehr late Thursday afternoon saying he "had an unavoidable conflict" which made their appearance unfeasible. As such, commissioners tabled the motion to their next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 19.

The planned development is scheduled to be built over five acres at Commerce Center Drive North and Hamilton Boulevard. It will consist of office space with a retail component if approved.

In other business, commissioners granted preliminary/final plan approval to a land development involving several building additions to the Mack Trucks facility, located at 3350 Gehman Road. The plan includes expansion and reconfigurations of the site's truck and trailers parking area in addition to stormwater improvements.

Commissioner Brian Higgins was absent from Thursday night's meeting.

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