Many of us are suffering in this dismal economy and the borough of Ambler is no exception. The borough is faced with considerably lower than expected revenue from 2010. The two biggest contributing factors are the lack of revenue from earned income tax as well as real estate transfer tax. You don’t need to be an economist to understand why these factors hit the borough so hard this year; the high percentage of unemployment contributed to the lack of income tax and the depressed real estate market has meant fewer sales, hence less revenue from transfer tax.
This shortfall must be made up somewhere, so Ambler Borough Council has proposed two options to help balance the 2011 budget. The first plan is to implement a new business privilege tax. The business tax has already been approved by Borough Council at the December 7th committee meeting. The new tax will impose a flat fee of $240 per year on every business within the borough, including owners of investment properties (rentals). This tax is required to be paid in full no later than the end of March 2011.
Although the business tax will help to cover the deficit, additional revenue is still needed. The second proposal is to raise property taxes by 13.72%. On the surface this sounds like an enormous increase but it actually translates to about $76 per $100,000 of assessed value. Don’t get me wrong, I know every bit counts, perhaps now more than ever, but it looks much better when you put it into perspective. This tax increase has not yet been approved, Council meets to vote on this proposal December 21st prior to the regular council meeting, I’ll keep you posted.