Borough Millage Should Drop to 3.83; Council Meeting Tonight
Last week, Mount Pocono Borough finally received the property tax base estimate from the County. That figure represents the total assessed value of all properties in the Borough and is used to revise the municipal real estate tax millage.
The Certified Assessment received from the Monroe County Assessment Office for 2020 sets the tax base for Mount Pocono at $278,481,020.00. To determine what one mill of tax generates, that figure is multiplied by .001. Under the new tax base, in 2020 one mill of tax will generate $278,481.02 for the Borough. In 2019, one mill produced $40,403.00 in tax receipts.
Under Pennsylvania law, when there is a county-wide property reassessment, taxing authorities are required to reduce their millage so that the anticipated real estate tax receipts in the first year of the new assessment match the final year under the old assessment. This is commonly referred to as the "anti-windfall" provision. They are permitted to increase real estate taxes, but by nor more than ten percent.
Some members of the Mount Pocono Borough Council majority have referred to 2020 as a "golden opportunity" to raise taxes. Apparently because they think they could obscure a tax increase in all the confusion over the reassessment and with the millage rate "looking" so low.
Well, I am here to say -- "Not so fast."
Several months ago, I asked the Council to join me in pledging not to use the reassessment as an excuse to raise taxes. Other than Matt Hensel, every member of council refused or ignored the request.
Last year the Borough was entitled to receive $1,065,204 in real estate taxes. That translates into a new millage rate for the Borough of 3.83 mills.
I will vote against any budget which proposes a basic millage rate in excess of 3.83 mills for the Borough. But I am only one vote. If you want to prevent a tax increase, you need to Get Involved, Mount Pocono!
Note that the 3.83 mills figure is exclusive of the additional real estate taxes levied for the Fire Department, EMS, Library, and dedicated temporary Road Rehab tax. In 2019, those amounts were 1 mill each for the Fire Department & Library, and 1/2 mill for the EMS. The Road Rehab was three mills. In 2020, the equivalent millage would be .14 for fire & library, .07 for EMS, and about .42 for the road tax. I am open to 10% increases (or more if we are permitted) for the Fire Department and EMS. That total would be under $6,000, or about .02 mills.
If you'd like to put your 2 cents (or, your 0.0000001 mills) in on that, there's a meeting at 6 pm tonight.