Duncannon residents face possible 150% tax increase

DUNCANNON, Pa. (WHTM) – Duncannon Borough Council members will meet Tuesday night to tentatively approve the 2017 budget, which could lead to a 150-percent tax increase for residents.

The increase is in order to address a major deficit in the borough’s general fund.

In early 2016, borough leaders discovered problems in the budget, with audits having not been completed the previous two years. A consultant has since been hired to come up with a five-year strategic plan to try to get Duncannon out of its current financial situation.

Borough manager Chris Courogen says a 150-percent tax increase is likely if the borough continues their current police services agreement with Penn Township. If the borough does away with the current contract, the tax increase may be as low as 50 percent.

“Right now, the police contract takes up pretty much 100 percent of our property tax revenue,” Courogen said. “I can tell you that there’s nobody on the borough council, nobody on the borough staff that wants to have to implement a tax increase. I’ve heard borough council members talk about how they wished it had been done over the years, phased in, instead of having to do it abruptly, but, bottom line is, we have to pay the bills.”

Courogen also says there currently don’t appear to be any areas where the borough can make cuts.

“I think part of the way we got in this situation was people trying really hard to be fiscally prudent and actually maybe cutting too much, so that important maintenance and so forth, especially with the water and sewer system, have been cut out and deferred,” Courogen said. “There really is not much more we can cut.”

Courogen says residents may also see a 15-percent increase in garbage fees as well as an increase in water and sewer rates.

Tuesday’s council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building. There will be time allowed for public comment.

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