Atlantic City’s Credit Rating Is Downgraded

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY – Standard & Poor’s downgraded Atlantic City’s credit rating from A-minus to BBB-plus on Monday, citing mainly the closing of four of 12 casinos this year.

The downgrade, which includes a negative outlook for the city, comes as Atlantic City is struggling with the loss of tax revenue because of the closures.

Combined, the shuttered gambling halls – Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza, which closed last Tuesday – generated about $75 million in property tax revenue last year. A fifth – Trump Taj Mahal – may close in November.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140923_JERSEY_SHORE.html#8By6Www9h9YC1lJB.99

Early Allentown School Budget Focuses On Hefty Layoffs, Tax Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If there was any doubt that the Allentown School District will impose layoffs as itgrapples with a $10.6 million shortfall next year, those doubts were all but erased tonight.

The school board considered a preliminary budget that could be described — officials hope — as a worst-case scenario: a $6.1 million cut to salaries, and a 9 percent property tax increase.

Those will almost certainly change by the time the final budget is passed in June. A preliminary budget is required this month by state law, and it must be balanced, so the district includes cuts to satisfy that deadline and then changes them later.

But if the $6.1 million salaries cut stays in place, with a district average salary of $65,000, it could mean at least 94 jobs getting eliminated, school union President Debra Tretter said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/01/early_allentown_school_budget.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Enhanced by Zemanta

Scranton Landlords, Homeowners And Renters Brace For Tax Hikes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

University of Scranton students Bridget McVeigh and Ashley Opalka are apartment hunting with two criteria in mind: proximity to campus and lower prices than the university’s dorms.

The pair were alarmed city landlords are poised to hike rents in response to a proposed 2014 Scranton budget that would raise property taxes 56.7 percent, garbage fees 68.5 percent and rental registration fees from $50 to $150 per structure and $15 to $50 per unit.

Landlord Carol Smurl said she tries “to be compassionate to the tenants because they’re on a fixed income,” but she and her husband cannot afford to absorb that kind of increase.

Normally, Mrs. Smurl waits until tenants move out to raise the rent or tries to delay passing increased costs on for two to three years at her nine properties.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-landlords-homeowners-and-renters-brace-for-tax-hikes-1.1590772

Slight Tax Hike Projected In 2014 Limerick Budget

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County

Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LIMERICK TOWNSHIP, PA — In a close vote, the township supervisors voted at Tuesday night’s meeting to advertise a proposed budget with a small property tax increase.

The $23,734,327 budget carries a tax increase of 5.75 percent to close a funding gap of $157,720. An owner with a property assessed at the township’s average of $150,000 would see a $16 increase on their tax bill yearly.

As such, the town’s mill rate would stand at 2.004.

The dividing line on the 3-2 vote was whether to close the funding gap using reserves or with a tax increase.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131119/slight-tax-hike-projected-in-2014-limerick-budget

Hesitant Exeter School Board Hikes Taxes In Tentative Budget

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tough budgetary times call for tough decisions.

But in the Exeter School District, it looks as though school officials might put off some of those decisions for at least another year.

The school board voted 7-2 Tuesday to pass a $66.8 million tentative budget that would raise taxes 2.5 percent next year but forgo any major cuts to programs or staffing.

“We’ve been paring down as much as possible,” board member Joseph R. Staub said. “None of us want to take a tax increase, but unfortunately it is the system we have until they (the state) take the burden off of homeowners.”

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477240

Reading On Course For $35 Million Cumulative Deficit By 2017

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading is on course to amass a $35 million cumulative deficit by the end of 2017 even if it raises property taxes by 5 percent a year, controller Christian Zale told City Council on Monday.

The budget likely will be $1 million short this year and $1.4 million short in 2014, but Zale said the city’s own fiscal cliff comes in 2015, when it expects a $10.2 million deficit.

That will be repeated in 2016 with a $10.9 million deficit, and again in 2017 with an $11.4 million deficit, he said.

“Now is the time to address the 2015 cliff, (and) also ensure future decisions do not exacerbate these projected deficits,” he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=469810

Berks County Commissioners Approve Budget

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Berks County property taxes will increase by 6.3 percent to 7.372 mills under the $463.6 million 2013 budget the commissioners adopted today in a 2-1 vote.

That amounts to $43.70 annually for a property assessed at $100,000.

The tax hike, which is expected to raise about $7.7 million, is the first in eight years.

Commissioner Mark C. Scott voted against the spending plan.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=435024