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VIDEO: Allentown homeowners likely to see property tax increase

Credit: WFMZ Allentown, PA
Published on October 6, 2019 -
VIDEO: Allentown homeowners likely to see property tax increase
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VIDEO: Allentown homeowners likely to see property tax increase

Cometh in the queen city as the mayor of allentown proposes a property tax increase... >>rob vaughn: mayor ray o'connell says the city's starved for cash?

The reserve account's in bad shape... and that's not good when you have a mult?

Million dollar deficit.

Wfmz's will lewis joins us live from allentown city hall.

Will... the budget is hurting... but a lot of people aren't happy about the idea of digging deeper.

>>will lewis one resident told council he may need to decide between heating his home and paying his taxes after the proposal was announced.

Mayor ray o'connell says it was a tough decision to make but the city needs the money before it's bankrupt.

>>> reporter if you keep taking from savings..

Eventually the money is going to run out and it will be time to replace it.

>>> mayor ray o'connell, allentown 20:07:19 23 "it's just time for us to, we have to bite the bullet because we're financially in a distress mode."

>>> reporter allentown mayor, ray o'connell, told council that a property tax increase will help replenish the cash reserves... during the announcement of his 2019 budget.

The increase would be 1.5 mils, meaning a home valued at 150 thousand dollars and a land value of 20 thousand would pay an extra 240 dollars a year.

It would be the first property tax increase in the queen city since 2005.

A tough pill to swallow for some people in lower income brackets... and for senior citizens >>> pedro rodriguez, allentown, pa 20:00:00?

06 "it's to the point that either no heat, no food, no medicine, no medical to be able to pay all this stuff.

>>> reporter over the years, former mayor ed pawlowski balanced the budget using cash reserves according to o'connell.

A total of 11 million dollars used from reserves from 2015 to 2018.

O'connell concedes that he signed off on those budgets as a member of city council, but says revenues the city expected to increase have stayed flat.

>>> o'connell 20:08:45?

49 "i think this is a move that has to be done to make the city solvent financially."

>>> reporter the question city council has to weigh is: will higher taxes cause some people to lose their homes?

>>> rodriguez 20:00:16?

21 "i'd appreciate it you people do something about this situation for the people who have very low income.

>>will lewis: now this is just a proposal.

Over the next six weeks..

Allentown city council will hold meetings with each department and then pass a final budget on december 5th.

However some are very clear that no matter what, there

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