Friday, January 8, 2010

Water Rates vs. Property Taxes In Hazleton

According to this article by Steve Mocarsky water rates in Hazleton are about $10.00 per month lower than comparable water rates with private firms. It makes a great argument for the naysayers. Well my dad always taught me to look at the big picture.

This year alone property taxes in Hazleton are going up an $98 dollars for every $100,000.00 in property assessment. At the very least that means almost a wash on the surface.

The rise in property taxes will not stop there. Hazleton was forced to layoff personnel to keep the tax increase at that level. In order to bring those employees back and fund 2011's projected deficit property taxes would have to go up at least 2 more mills or $200.00 per $100,000.00 assessment.

Are taxpayers willing to protect a $10.00 per month rise in water rates and pay $298.00($24.83 per month) more per year in property taxes. Seems like a no brainer. And it doesn't stop there. Each year, forget any increases the City is behind at least $1.5 million. A mill represents approximately $900,000.00 to the City. Just to break even the City needs to add 1.667 mills to property tax each and every year it falls behind. That equals at least another $167.00 each and every year thereafter.

It is the people who want to get Barletta that are not looking at the big picture.

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