Borough Tax Cap
The Borough Tax Cap (more properly called a
revenue cap) is actually a cap on the total revenue the borough can take
into its coffers in any one year. The total is based on the amount of
revenue received in the previous year, plus a cost of living increase.
However, the "cap" is not a total cap; to be
legal, certain exceptions had to be provided for - things that are allowed
to raise the cap. They are as follows:
New buildings and land coming
onto the tax rolls
New payments on bonds approved
by the voters
Payments for services approved
by the voters
New legal judgments entered
against the borough
Expenses for emergencies
You may have noticed that your property
taxes have gone up over the years that the cap has been in place (since
1987). Most of the increase is due to voter approved bond issues (new
schools, library, etc) and new voter approved services such as the Carlson
Center. If we had not had the tax cap in place, you would have seen a much
steeper increase in taxes. The borough assembly has actually unnecessarily
loosened the cap once – by making a change in another part of the borough
code of ordinances. In the future, you may want to repeal that provision to
bring back the integrity of the original cap.
Because of the cap, if the Assembly decided
to start a sales tax without allowing you to vote on it, they would have to
lower other taxes (most likely property taxes) by the same amount. In order
for the sales tax to be added without decreasing other taxes, they would
have to allow you to vote on the sales tax as a new tax, therefore the tax
cap is forcing them to allow you to vote on new taxes.
The tax cap is in place right now. There is
a similar one in the City charter, where it cannot be changed without a vote
of the people. The borough does not have a charter to protect the cap, but
state law says that anything put on by voter initiative is protected from
change or elimination for two years. For that reason, we must renew the cap
every two years.
Please help us extend the protections of the
tax cap for two more years, by voting YES for Proposition 1 Oct. 7, 2014.
In 2015 we will need to do the same, for the 2016 ballot.
We are on schedule of getting the signatures a year early each
year, to avoid the rush of having to have the signatures before the fair is
[ Back to Top ]