2015 may arrive with a real estate tax hike in Denver

By on November 5, 2014

A tax increase may ring in the new year for property owners in Denver borough.

The council, at its Oct. 27 meeting, saw the first draft of the 2015 budget which included a 3.33 percent real estate tax increase. The increase would take the millage from 3 to 3.10 mills. One mill of tax generates approximately $190,000.ER20141105_CCocDenverSign

Proposed water and sewer increases are 5 percent each. Council noted the rates did not increase in 2014.

The average residential property valued at $135,000 would see a $41.73 increase in total taxes if all three proposed tax increases pass.

Proposed water charges would increase from $15 to $15.75 for 3,000 gallons. Proposed sewer rates would increase from $10 to $10.50 per 3,000 gallons, with a minimum quarterly charge of $31.50 for 3,000 gallons.

Budget increases are projected for the following:

* Police service has a projected increase of $43,685. The reduced annual police services cost in 2015 drops from $462,815 to $421,970. There is a one-time, regional police start-up cost calculated at $84,530.

“These start-up costs are based on the thinking that the new, regional force will begin in 2016, with start-up costs due in 2015,” said borough Manager Mike Hession.

* Projected debt service payment of $78,500 for the street-light privatization project. While the buy-back of utilities from PPL is stalled, it is anticipated once the project moves forward the borough could save up to $50,000 annually.

* Paying back $27,000 owed to the Community and Economic Development Fund for monies borrowed to pay off the loan debt for the 1975 N. Reading Road property sold in August to Den-Tech. The property originally was purchased jointed by the four Cocalico municipalities for recreation. With the 2008 economy slumping plus financial commitments not forthcoming, the property sat, and ultimately deteriorated, until the economy recovered enough to make a sale viable.

In other business, council voted to not allocate any taxpayer dollars for funding construction of the new Boy Scout cabin. Brian Shober, who is a former Denver native and still active in scouting, gave $50,000 to kick-start the cabin project. Shober requested council consider a $10,000 donation, which would meet their $120,000 goal. He suggested considering payment over two years.

Council contributed approximately $6,000 by agreeing to waive permit fees for construction, water and sewer tapping. The borough public works department will make water and sewer lateral connections, donating piping required and labor. The cabin grounds will receive free maintenance like the rest of the park.

Council used $5,100 of the FEMA/PEMA money for demolition of the old cabin, which was destroyed by flood waters more than three years ago.

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