Next year Berks County property owners can expect the first county tax increase in eight years: between about 5 and 8 percent.
The amount will depend on negotiations with labor unions that represent county workers, county commissioners said Tuesday during their workshop session.
Budget Director Robert J. Patrizio Jr. said that in a worst-case scenario a 2.5 percent increase in wages would cost the county $3.2 million in 2013. Covering that, plus an expected deficit this year of $9.5 million and cuts in state funding would require an 8 percent increase in taxes, he said.
Property owners currently pay a rate of 6.935 mills, or $693.50 annually on a property assessed at $100,000.