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Town of Philadelphia cuts spending to keep tax hike small


PHILADELPHIA — The Town Council on Thursday passed its 2013 budget, which includes cuts to combat rising retirement costs and avoid a large property tax increase.

Taxes will increase only slightly for property owners in 2013, as the town increased the tax rate from $5.78 per $1,000 of assessed value to $5.82. That means the annual tax for a property assessed at $100,000 would be $582, an increase of $4.

The levy, or amount to be raised by taxes, is $506,175, up 0.3 percent, or $1,465 more than this year’s $504,710.

Covering four town officials and five employees from the Highway Department, the town’s retirement plan will increase by $14,387 from this year, a 28 percent increase from $37,485 to $51,872.

Village of Philadelphia property owners already will pay more taxes this year because the total property assessment for the village climbed by 24 percent, said Supervisor Cheryl K. Horton.

“One of our biggest concerns was that (raising taxes) would make it a bigger burden for those who live in the village,” she said. “It’s an extremely tight budget without a lot of wiggle room. There are things we need but we’re doing without because we know taxes have hit people.”

Cuts made to the highway fund include a $10,000 decrease in funding reserved to purchase equipment, from $40,000 to $30,000. Mrs. Horton said the Highway Department also has planned to scale back significantly the amount of road maintenance completed in 2013 to cut costs.

The total funding for the highway fund in 2013 is down 2 percent, or $11,665, from this year, dropping from $536,280 to $524,625.

Overall, the budget decreased 1 percent, or $15,495, from $1,194,630 to $1,179,135. Mrs. Horton said about $100,000 is expected to be left in the general fund in 2013 under the plan. About $73,000 was allocated from reserve money to help balance the budget.

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