The Loyalsock Township supervisors approved a 2013 budget for display Tuesday evening that cuts real estate taxes in half.
The current tax rate of 1.4 mills is lowered to 0.7 mills in the proposed 2013 budget. A $100,000 property with a current property tax bill of $1,400 will have that number reduced to $700 if the new budget is passed.
The 2013 budget estimates $500,000 in real estate tax receipts; expected receipts for 2012 are $950,000.
The local service tax that collects a dollar a week from township businesses for every worker on payroll has provided most of the means for easing the property tax burden, township Manager Bill Burdett said.
"When we put in the (payroll) tax three or four years ago, we thought it might be hard to collect, but it's turned out to be easy," Burdett said. "It's grown our pot of money but we haven't really increased expenses, because we weren't sure if we should budget for that money or not."
Loyalsock Township will receive $244,000 in 2013 from Act 13 gas impact tax monies. All of that money goes into paving, the largest line item in the new budget, along with liquid fuel tax monies collected at the pump by the state.
"We're recommending a very aggressive paving program, the largest contract ever for us," Burdett said. "The finance and the streets committees recommend that we put all this money into getting our roads back in order from the sewer project a few years back."
Other capital costs in the budget include a new F-550 truck and a replacement for the township's backhoe, bought in 2008.
Loyalsock Township citizens can comment on the new budget at the supervisors' two December meetings.