Suburban REALTORS® Alliance News Brief Headlines
– Bucks commissioners adopt comprehensive plan
– Morrisville Council overrides mayor’s veto of budget
– Warrington development passes conditional use hurdle
– Council Rock requests exemption; taxes could rise three percent
– Bensalem schools proposed budget includes tax increase
– City Avenue rezoning adopted in Lower Merion
– Skippack taxes remain steady
– Narberth hikes taxes 3.32 percent
– Upper Dublin School Board approves preliminary budget
– North Penn eyes $7.1 million in budget cuts
Fed Reserve recommends key principles for housing recovery
Stabilizing and restoring the health of the housing market is critical to a broader economic recovery, according to a white paper released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Board. Many of the issues and recommendations outlined in the paper support key principles established by the National Association of Realtors® to help revitalize the housing industry and economy. The white paper, titled “The U.S. Housing Market: Current Conditions and Policy Considerations,” calls for increased lending to creditworthy home buyers and more loan modifications, mortgage refinancings and short sales to reduce the rising inventory of foreclosed homes and help stabilize and revitalize the housing industry. Click here to read more.
Source: realtor.org; 1/5/2012
Bucks commissioners adopt comprehensive plan
Bucks County commissioner approved the county comprehensive plan during their final meeting of 2011. The plan, designed by the county planning commission, will guide county and municipal governments, private agencies and the general public as they make decisions about the future planning, development and management of BucksCounty’s natural and infrastructure assets. The entire comprehensive plan can be found at www.BucksCounty.org.
Source: Bristol Pilot; 1/4/2012
Morrisville Council overrides mayor’s veto of budget
At a special meeting on Dec. 28, 2011, Morrisville Mayor Rita Ledger read aloud her veto of the 2012 budget, tax rate ordinance, budget resolution and salary resolution for the borough manager. This marks the second time in two years that the mayor has vetoed a budget passed by borough council. After reviewing the mayor’s 12 objections to the budget and related resolutions, Morrisville Borough Council voted 6-0 to override the veto, with two members absent for the vote. Morrisville Borough’s tax rate will remain at 40.93 mills, with one mill equal to a tax of $1 for each $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of a home assessed at the borough average $20,000 can expect a borough property tax bill of $818.
Source: Yardley News; 1/11/2012 & PhillyBurbs.com; 12/13/2011
Warrington development passes conditional use hurdle
Warrington Township supervisors voted to allow for a cluster development of 48 twin homes and one single-family home on 30 acres on Phillips Avenue off Street Road. The vote ended a very long conditional use hearing process. The conditional use hearing was necessary because the property is zoned Residential 2 and cluster communities are only permitted as a conditional use. The neighboring Lamplighter Village community argued against the conditional use permit based on density and environmental concerns. After an agreement was reached between the developer and neighbors, the supervisors deemed the conditional use appropriate. The developer will now need to move the project through the land development process.
Source: PhillyBurbs.com; 1/11/2012
Council Rock requests exemption; taxes could rise three percent
The Council Rock School Board plans to request a state exception that will allow it to raise taxes by as much as three percent in 2012-13. The board plans to apply for an exception to the Act 1 index to cover an anticipated increased in pension contributions. The Act 1 index limits the amount Council Rock can increase taxes to 1.7 percent without an exemption or voter referendum. The pension exemption would be 1.3 percent. The district is not obligated to use the exemption if it is approved; however, the school board wanted the flexibility it provides.
Source: The Advance; 1/8/2012
Bensalem schools proposed budget includes tax increase
The Bensalem Township School District has released a 2012-13 preliminary budget that, if adopted, would mean an $89 tax increase for the average homeowner. The proposed budget will increase the tax rate from 141.4 mills to 145.5 mills. The district has applied for an exception to The Act 1 limit of 1.7 percent to cover an increase in pension contributions to the Public School Employee Retirement Fund. The school district plans to use $2.7 million from the fund balance to aid in balancing the budget. The draft spending plan is available to view on the school district website.
Source: PhillyBurbs.com; 1/11/2012
City Avenue rezoning adopted in Lower Merion
In a 6-4 vote, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a rezoning ordinance for City Avenue, the prime commercial location in the township. The ordinance will create two districts; the Bala Retail Center, and a Regional Center Area that includes commercial properties going east toward the Schuylkill River. The intent is to create a more pedestrian-friendly area and encourage mixed-use development. A delay has been built into the rezoning ordinance, with a requirement that an official map be presented by the planning staff by April 30, 2012. The map will show the placement of key features such as open space and public gathering locations, new streets, public transit facilities and a future trail network. Learn more about the City Avenue rezoning at www.lowermerion.org .
Source: Main Line Times; 12/22/2011
Skippack taxes remain steady
Skippack Township supervisors approved a 2012 budget that holds the line on township property taxes. The tax rate will remain at 0.3508 mills. The budget includes four capital expenditures, but is projected to end the year with a $20,000 surplus. Sewer rates are also expected to remain at 2011 rates.
Source: Times Herald; 12/30/2011
Narberth hikes taxes 3.32 percent
Narberth Borough Council adopted a $4.44 million budget that will raise property taxes to 9.067 mills. The 3.32 percent increase will mean a borough property tax bill of $1,360 for the owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $150,000, an increase of about $44 over last year. Council also approved a 28 cent increase in the sanitary sewer rental rate. Customers will pay $2.39 per 1,000 gallons of water used. Narberth traditionally waits to adopt the budget as close to year-end as possible so it has a clear picture of receipts and projected expenses.
Source: Main Line Times; 1/5/2012
Upper Dublin School Board approves preliminary budget
The Upper Dublin School Board approved a 2012-13 preliminary budget that includes two exemptions to the Act 1 tax index rate of 1.7 percent. The exemptions are for special education and pension reimbursement. If approved, the two exemptions could pump up the proposed tax increase to 4.47 percent – an increase of $236.97 to the tax bill of a home assessed at the district average of $192,000. Administrators stress that the 4.47 percent is a maximum preliminary figure that will most likely decrease during the budget process.
Source: Ambler Gazette; 1/11/2012
North Penn eyes $7.1 million in budget cuts
North Penn school board members were presented with $7.1 million in possible budget cuts by district administration. The cuts, if approved, would impact curriculum, staffing, class sizes, sports programs and construction projects. The preliminary budget calls for a 2.9 percent tax increase and would require $2.8 million in budget cuts to balance. Reducing the 2.9 percent tax increase would mean millions more in budget cuts. Click here to visit the school district website and preliminary budget information.
Source: The Intelligencer; 1/11/2012