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Carroll Valley looking at 2012 tax hike

Richard D. L. Fulton

(10/12) Plunging revenues may compel Carroll Valley Borough to enact a real estate tax increase to help support the impending 2012 general fund budget.

Borough Councilman Bill Reinke, also a member of the borough Finance Committee, told the council at the October 11 meeting that a tax hike for 2012 may be unavoidable.

The borough Finance Committee is presently working on a draft of the 2012 budget, which will potentially be adopted in the amount of around $1.7 million, or about the same size as the 2011 general fund budget.

But while the budget will likely remain about the same as that of last year’s, Reinke said, "We‘re almost certainly looking at a tax increase (for 2012). We are looking at a tax increase unless someone can win the lottery and donate the money to the borough. We‘re almost certainly looking at a tax increase."

When asked how much of a tax increase might be on the table, Reinke told the Emmitsburg News-Journal, "As small (a tax increase) as possible."

Reinke cited declining revenues as the primary reason for the apparent need for the potential tax increase. Specifically, he said the shortfall is due in a large part to decreased income and real estate money.

Carroll Valley Borough residents have an average per capita income $33,940 (2009 numbers), with the average resident age of 35.4, according to city-data.com.

The current tax rate of eight mills was set in 2008, effective for the 2009 budget, this at a time when the total real estate value in the borough approximated $89,699,051.

The borough tax rate has only been increase once (2008) in the past 14 years, Councilman Reinke noted.

A current, working draft of the 2012 general fund budget, produced by the borough Finance Committee, was distributed to the council members at the meeting, but the council took no formal action regarding the draft.

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