Friday, November 10, 2017

Lower Pottsgrove Pondering 7.4% Tax Hike for 2018

Lower Pottsgrove Township Commissioners Thursday night approved a tentative $6.4 million 2018 budget that would raise taxes by 7.4 percent if adopted next month without change.

The tentative budget's $6,3267,371 in spending represents a 2.4 percent increase in spending over the 2017 amount of $6,175,765.

But the tax increase can be attributed to one single item, the commissioners' desire to create a capital reserve fund, a saving account for major projects, said Township Manager Ed Wagner.

The .25 millage increase is dedicated entirely to that fund, he said.

According to Montgomery County's list of all millage rates, Lower Pottsgrove's is currently 3.368 mills. So a .25 millage increase for the capital reserve tax brings the total to 3.618 mills, or an increase of 7.42 percent.

Wagner said  there has been no major project in the past year that has brought this need to the front of the commissioners' table. "We're just trying to be prudent and plan ahead," he said.

For the average property owner, whose assessment is $125,000, it means an increase of $31.25 on the 2018 property tax bill.

The commissioners voted unanimously to advertise the budget and make it available to the public for a minimum of 30 days. Final adoption does not take place until December.

The blue area is currently Pennsylvania American Water's

franchise area. The tan area shows the proposed expansion
In other matters, the commissioners also approved a letter of support for the expansion of Pennsylvania American Water's franchise area into the township to provide water for the massive Sanatoga Green project of more than 500 housing units, a medical facility and, possibly, a hotel.

When pressure tests were done, it became evident that the Pottstown Borough Authority system could not provide enough water pressure to- run sprinkler systems and meet other water needs.

The commissioners did not have the final word. That rests with the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission, a process which could take some time, said Sanatoga Green developer Ted Draushcak

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