Council Announces Tax Increase Ordinance, Defers Pay Raise "For Now"
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Mount Pocono Borough property owners face a real estate tax increase in 2020. At the initial meeting of the year, council revealed the new millage rates after the 2019 re-assessment. They also deferred action on giving themselves a pay raise. On the taxes, the new millage will be 4.96, comprised of 4.15 for general fund, .46 mills for the dedicated street improvement tax, .14 each for the volunteer fire company and library, and .07 for the EMS. The 4.15 general real estate tax represents a tax increase over last year. In 2019, Borough property owners were billed $1,065,204 for general real estate taxes. This year, a majority of council and the interim mayor endorsed increasing the tax burden on residents to $1,158,411 -- an 8.75% increase. Without that increase, the millage for the general fund would have been 3.8250. On the council pay raise, the proposal supported by the interim mayor and a majority of council would gift elected officials almost triple the $650 average rate of pay for Boroughs in Pennsylvania of a similar population of Mount Pocono. The public has overwhelmingly voiced opposition to the proposal. Rather than face the public, the interim mayor canceled the special meeting called for December 30 to pass the raise in-time for incoming elected or reelected officials to take advantage of it. In the last minute cancellation, the interim mayor claimed to have received threats, but a check with the Borough offices confirmed that no threats have been received and the interim mayor has refused to identify the threats. Last night, facing another overflow crowd, the interim mayor asked the council to table the pay raise for "a few months", which they did. The council also rejected a move by council member Aida Montanez to reopen the budget to permit for the possibility of raising taxes even further. The next meeting is the council work session on Monday, January 20, at 7 pm.
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