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Emmaus Council Votes to Raise Taxes in 2014

Emmaus Borough Council Monday night unanimously passed a 2014 borough budget that raises taxes.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
There is little that’s remarkable about the 2014 Emmaus Borough budget passed by council Monday night by a 7-0 vote, but by all accounts, the process that created that budget has been quite unusual.

Here’s what you need to know:
  • Taxes will go up: The budget sets the millage rate at 5.075 mills, which means a home assessed at $150,000 will see an increase in taxes of $118 next year. “It was not an easy budget,” said Borough Manager Shane Pepe after the meeting. “It’s going to hurt no matter what.”
  • Much needed projects will be tackled: This budget covers things like the 10th Street culvert, two new police cars, dump trucks and improvements on many roads, pointed out Councilman Nathan Brown. “We are not going to kick the can down the road any more,” Brown said. “I want to let the public know that this is what you are spending your money on, roads and public safety. We can move our borough forward.”
  • Officials feel everyone did a great job: Council president Lee Ann Gilbert thanked Pepe for his role in getting the borough through the budget process so easily – a sentiment echoed by others on council one after the other. Pepe thanked council for making the budget process an “easier experience than it could have been.” Councilman Mike Waddell summed up the amorous sentiment in the room: “Everyone did a really good job,” Waddell said. “The process that Mr. Pepe established works well. Kudos to the committee for what they did.” 
  • It wasn’t as easy as it looked: Monday night’s budget meeting was wrapped up in less than an hour and Councilman Wesley Barrett wanted the public to know that although it seemed like council “zipped through” things that that was far from the case. “The process has been changed,” Barrett said. “You did not see the hours and hours that went in before tonight. This gives our residents the services they want and moves our town forward.”
  • Hope springs eternal:  If revenue improves by the end of the year, the borough will open the budget back up and adjust the tax bump by the amount that comes in – at least that’s the hope of Councilman Brent Labenberg who prefaced his affirmative vote on the budget by saying as much. “I assume that my fellow council members feel the same way,” Labenberg said, “and that’s the only reason I am voting in favor of this budget.”
KS December 08, 2013 at 07:06 AM
Hopefully one of those roads is Long St between Macungie Ave and 6th!!!!!

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