DUNCANNON, Pa. (WHTM) — The Duncannon Borough Council was in no hurry to vote on a possible tax increase on Tuesday night.
By the publishing of this article at 11:47pm, a vote on a proposed 2017 budget had still not taken place. Dozens of Duncannon residents turned out to the meeting after reports that council was weighing a potential 150% local property tax increase, and considering cutting ties with Penn Township Police, which provides local patrols in the borough. An adviser to Council said discontinuing a contract with Penn Township could make up a large portion of the borough’s current $298,00 budget deficit. A smaller tax increase could still be necessary.
According to council, the 3.1 mil tax increase would amount to an additional $186 per year for someone owning a $60,000 home within the borough. Several senior citizens argued they do not have the money to pay additional taxes, and fear losing their homes. While some supported keeping a local police presence, other argue Penn Township officers have done little to combat crime including copper theft from Duncannon properties and a growing drug problem.
Many residents support a move to be absorbed my Penn Township, removing Duncannon’s status as a borough. The borough currently operates many of its own utilities, including electric, water and trash collection. Current council members place blame for the budget shortfall on poor management decisions by previous board members, and a failure to keep up with maintenance of borough assets.