Monroe County 2020 Property Tax Calculator Brought to You by Channel570 & The Boro* Newspaper
Two new media ventures in Mount Pocono have combined to create a County Property Tax Calculator to reliably estimate the 2020 real estate tax liability of Monroe County property owners. Channel570, which offers live streaming of public meetings, and The Boro* newspaper, a monthly community newspaper in Mount Pocono, have published the calculator on The Boro* website at
https://www.mountpoconoboro.com/calculator Matt Hensel, the creative force behind Channel 570, and part of The Boro* newspaper team, developed the concept. Hensel was frustrated with the lack of information being shared with residents by Mount Pocono officials over the tax issues. After seeing growing resident concerns on community pages being ignored by the responsible officials, he gathered the information from taxing authorities and created the calculator. "We gathered all of the new tax rates from the county municipalities," Hensel said. "Most of the school districts have draft budget figures, so we have also incorporated those. Of course, the final numbers for them will not be set until late spring." Hensel said the calculator will be updated and refined as more information becomes available. Noting that "many municipalities, including Mount Pocono, have not put tax information on their official websites," Ford said that The Boro* "wanted to fill the information void left by elected officials who fail to engage with concerned citizens online, where the relevant information could most efficiently be distributed." Ford said the Boro* website published the 2020 borough budget last year, kept the public up to date on the borough tax increase, "and now we have the calculator," all in an effort to "fill the information void left by overly secretive officials". Users of the calculator simply put their 2020 assessed value, municipality, and school district into the calculator and receive their municipal (including county, EMS, and other local taxes), school district, and total tax amounts. In order to use the calculator, users need to sign up as members of The Boro* website. Ford said this was to provide value added to the Boro*'s membership, as well as to protect the calculator and website from being overwhelmed with users. Ford assures users that member information is never shared. "It's a shame," Ford said, "our elected officials lurk on the local community pages, but never bother to respond to citizen concerns. They only post on the pages to promote themselves or their private endeavors. Matt and I fought a losing battle for transparency and inclusion on council, now we can do more to provide information off council." The Boro*'s first issue was published February 1 and has been mailed to all residents and businesses in the borough. Free copies can also be found at the Borough Building, Pocono Rocks, Fork Street Bistro, the Mount Pocono UPS Store, and numerous other places in the Borough.