Borough Council passed the 2010 budget on Dec. 17 with no tax increase. The vote was 4-2, after a prior motion to increase taxes by two-tenths of a mill resulted in a tie. Mayor Robert Brain, in his last meeting before leaving office, cast the deciding vote in opposition of raising taxes.
The action means the borough has a budget of nearly $4.8 million for next year, just about $2,100 carried over from the current year. By all accounts, that is a razor-thin balance to start the year, which is in part why Councilman Dale Treese and I voted against a no-tax increase budget.
I believe that we need to look out for the long-term health of Elizabethtown, and while the economy is running roughshod over people the .2 mill increase was just $20 out of people's pockets. That would have generated $87,000 in additional revenue to give the borough a better cushion going into next year. The increase also was, in my mind, a good compromise and minimal enough to prevent a large increase next year.
But other council members felt otherwise, and we have a budget in place for 2010 that will maintain services. And for that, I credit all of council and the borough staff for working hard to ensure that.