Montoursville’s proposed spending plan has 0.7-mill tax increase

Montoursville Borough Council Monday night approved a proposed 2018 spending plan that hikes real estate taxes 0.70 mills.

The vote was to 5-1 in favor of the $2.92 million spending plan and the tax increase.

Voting yes were Eric Greenway, Mark Tillson, Rosemary Holmes, Ted Haines and Tina Kline.

Voting no was Christopher Lucas.

The tax increase brings the millage rate to 4.0 and will mean an additional $180,000 in revenues, according to borough officials.

Property owners with homes having an assessed value of $100,000 will pay an additional $70 in annual real estate taxes.

When Lucas questioned the need for a tax increase, Greenway responded it means ensuring the borough has money in the coming year to fund projects, including park and road improvements.

He noted that without a tax hike the budget has a $152,000 deficit.

“We are trying to be proactive,” he said.

Kline said the borough never knows how much money it will get from the state each year.

Tillson said while nobody likes tax increases, it comes down to providing services for residents.

“We’re not trying to keep up with the Joneses,” he said.

He said local municipalities of comparable size have larger millage rates than Montoursville.

In other matters, council approved a land development plan for a warehouse at 300 Howard St.

Savoy Furniture had erected the building but needed to revise former plans to be in compliance with zoning.

It was noted that plans have been reviewed by the Montoursville Planning Commission and the borough engineer.

Fred Holland, an attorney representing Savoy, told borough officials an easement has been worked out to allow for airport access.

Council approved an easement to clear the way for a traffic light at Broad and Walnut streets.

Mayor John Dorin announced that the lighting of the Christmas tree at the former Sylvania plant on Broad Street will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22.

This will mark the 70th year of the tree lighting, he noted.