As the municipalities around us struggle with their 2011 budgets, there is depressing news from Phoenixville Borough. Residents of Phoenixville may be looking at a whopping 24.7% property tax increase according to the proposed borough’s 2011 budget.
The 2011 budget deficit is approximately $619K and the Borough Council is faced with a tax hike or spending cuts. Property tax increases have varied over the years – 2010 there was no increase; 2009 saw a 5.8% increase and in 2008 taxpayers received a 14.8% increase. Certainly, nothing like this proposed 24.7% increase! Although there has been discussion of police department cuts in the borough, so far that is only a rumor.
Although on the surface, it would appear that Phoenixville is a success story . . . there seems to be a new restaurant, coffee shop or boutique on every corner, apparently that is not an accurate picture. According to the Borough Council, corporate layoffs, reduced earned income revenue, slipping real estate transactions have all contributed to the challenges faced in the current economic climate. Tomorrow is the Borough’s Finance Committee meeting; here’s hoping for an alternative to the 24.7% tax increase.
Looking ahead to 2011, Phoenixville like many municipalities is struggling. Supporting revitalization is critical for future economics . . . effectively planning and implementing local economic initiatives needs to be a requirement and . . . stimulating local economies . . . all challenges to the newly elected in Pennsylvania. Phoenixville is included in Pennsylvania’s 157 jurisdiction – I hope that the residents can count on help from their newly elected representative.