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Tredyffrin Considering a 5.5% Tax Hike

A special public meeting is scheduled Tuesday morning to answer questions.

Tredyffrin Township's Board of Supervisors is being asked to consider raising township property taxes by 5.5% in the proposed 2013 township budget.

The increase amounts to an average $28 per property owner according to the preliminary budget outlined in a public meeting last Wednesday.  A copy of that budget presentation is attached to this article as a pdf.

Township budget officials say the tax hike is needed to maintain services in the face of a flat and "built out" real estate market. What that means in layman's terms is that property reassesments reducing the tax base and that there is lilttle room left in the township to build new properties that could increase the tax base. The result is a need to get more money out of the properties that already exist.

Community Matters and TE Patch Blogger Pattye Benson has written extensively about the proposal, the issues involved and the public's questions that resulted in the scheduling of an unusual 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning public meeting on the budget proposal. You can read her blog post here.

Linda Smith November 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM
A flat and built out real estate market means this township needs to first reduce or stop salary increases and start with pay cuts. Employees should make a significant contribution to their newly increased benefit packages or why not just decrease your benefit packages. Regarding your pensions, it would be a good idea to decrease your pension contribution amounts or do away with pensions all together. This is why we have IRA accounts. There are too many Tredyffrin township residents who are unemployed citizens along with senior citizens on fixed incomes who cannot afford tax increases. Keep the libraries open and think about maybe downsizing or closing your parks and recreations. How about examining your own departments and terminating some of the drones that do not pull their own weight in this township. The economy is in sad shape--shame on you for asking to increase taxes.
RosiesDad November 12, 2012 at 01:45 PM
$28 per year per property on average and we are going to have gnashing of teeth and rending of garments? Please. Yes, we would all like the township to use our tax dollars in the most efficient way, and yes we would like to squeeze every dollar of waste out of the system. But the cost of living does continue to increase and it is reasonable to expect that this does translate to increases in the cost of governance. I would suggest that if a $0.54 per week increase is going to break anyone's bank, they have larger problems that they need to address.
Linda Smith November 12, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Again, whether it is 54 cents a day, $3.78 a week, $28.00 a month or $336.00 a year, there are too many Tredyffrin township residents who are unemployed citizens along with senior citizens on fixed incomes who cannot afford tax increases.
RosiesDad November 12, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Then, sad to say, they should move to someplace they can afford. Because they have bigger problems than $28 per year. The township has an obligation to remain healthy and inviting, to provide the services that its residents need. And this includes the school district. We have some of the lowest taxes--school and property--of any township in the area. Many people move here because of the schools and the community. Shortchanging them will not make Tredyffrin a desirable place to live or do business.
GMH November 12, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I am also concerned that the Township is not responsive to the residents. We have been asking for 4 years for several trees in Friendship Park to be removed. They are diseased and have been dropping huge branches on our property for several years now. A few months ago one of these trees fell and destroyed a section of fence adjacent to our property. Can you imagine what would have happened if the park was full of children playing at the time? Now they want to increase taxes? Interesting.
LDEL November 12, 2012 at 02:22 PM
RosiesDad, where on earth do you live in T/E that you only pay $600 a year in property taxes? That's what you would have to roughly pay to only have a $28 increase. Maybe the editors of the patch should either pull this story because it is misleading for all of the residents who believe everything they read or post a chart that shows how much both school and property taxes have risen in the past 8 years in this township
Jenna Reese November 12, 2012 at 03:37 PM
sing it sister!
Jenna Reese November 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
My benefits have increased and the cost of living increase was nada, zip, zero...it is just the way things are. Govt is bloated, the budgets are bloated and there are many areas of aste. I wish people would stop crying about - "Oh if we don't pay more taxes and pay our teachers whatever they want - we won't attract talent etc. The schools do well because the parents are involved and value their children's education. Believe it or not, not everyone in Tredyffrin has extra money to blow. govt needs to function like the rest of us - use our money wisely and consider only what is necessary
David November 12, 2012 at 03:53 PM
LDEL, Don't get confused between total property taxes and Tredyffrin property taxes (which is what we are talking about). I too pay less than $600/year in Tredyffrin property taxes (but well over $4k in school taxes).
RosiesDad November 12, 2012 at 04:36 PM
LDEL: You are confused about your taxes. Our township real estate tax bill is a bit over $500. Our school taxes are over $4000.
Linda Smith November 12, 2012 at 05:35 PM
The residents of Tredyffrin township do not want to pay an increase in taxes when the economy is in such poor shape. The township needs to restructure their budgets and absorb the costs instead of passing these increases on to residents, especially those on unemployment or fixed incomes.
Version November 12, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Really, I can't believe I just read that!!!! Am very sad to know you are a neighbor!!! Very short sighted!!!
RosiesDad November 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Our property tax rate is 2.308 mills; the proposal is an increase to 2.435. The property tax rate in Radnor is 3.7511 mills, Easttown is 3.979, Willistown is 2.8, Lower Merion is over 4 mills. Upper Merion is lower at 2.1 mills but the township benefits from mercantile business taxes that Tredyffrin doesn't levy. Our tax rates are very low compared with our immediate neighbors and you can only squeeze 5 cents out of a nickel.
Bob Byrne (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The entire proposal IS posted as a pdf file. It is also available here on the township's websitehttp://tredyffrin.org/finances/budget.aspx. According to the proposal as posted and attached to this article the increase for the Township's tax to the average taxpayer would be $28...that is the increase..not the total tax. It is in fact different than the tax to pay for schools.
Carol Clarke November 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Chill out and get the facts! Budgets can be complex and ranting without understanding is irresponsible. That is why I asked for background info and both Supervisor Heaberg and Finance Director Tim Klarich agreed to meet with me and kindly opened our meeting to the public. So come to meetings, ask questions, and get educated. Tredyffrin’s staff has already been reduced by 25 (20%) over the past 3 years. The proposed budget includes another 10% reduction in the police force – on top of a 10% reduction in 2010. Non-union salaries had been frozen in the past. We face an unfunded liability of $40M for retiree medical benefits. The police contract has been in arbitration for months. Many are concerned about the condition of our roads and services. There are lots of issues and tradeoffs here. We need to calmly discuss what services we want/need and what we are willing to pay for.
Rezzy Dent November 12, 2012 at 08:20 PM
IT's only $28 get over it , cable is only going up $15, and insurance is only going up 8% get over it. Food prices are increacing, gas is only $3.60 a gallon geez get over it right Rosisdad? How much are school taxes going up, I'm sure not enough to worry about.
Version November 12, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Got to love all you folks out there that tell people to get over it. Maybe we should just give the township a blank check. Must be the same people that are screaming at the Fed Goverment not to increase taxes.
Linda Smith November 12, 2012 at 09:44 PM
We have an alternative to cable television --watching regular TV, we can shop around for lower insurance prices and review food circulars for sales and use coupons, regarding gas prices-we have an opportunity to select the lowest gas prices in the area using the web site Gasbuddy , we can pick up a co-worker or buddy and share a ride. Again, the residents of Tredyffrin township do not want a tax increase--especially residents who are on unemployment or on fixed incomes--the township needs to absorb this cost and not raise taxes in this unstable economy.
Rezzy Dent November 13, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Linda you are missing the point, are we going to have to keep cutting back each year? How about we try to keep taxes down so I won't have to trade in my regular tv for a radio.

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