Antietam, Exeter Hold Public Session On Merger Possibilities

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

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

At a town meeting Monday night at Reformation Lutheran Church in Exeter Township, the questions reached so far across the board that Arlene Unger had to admit, “I think we’re a little premature with the specifics of the questions.”

“Some questions can’t be answered until the (school) boards decide which model they want to pursue,” Unger of Exeter Township said at the meeting hosted by the church and organized by area pastors.

Just what direction school officials plan to go is a question that’s still up in the air.

“It’s important for us to get a feel of what you feel,” said Exeter School Board President Robert H. Quinter Jr.  “We’re going to make the decision.  So the more information I get from you at meetings like this, the better off I am.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=484010

Pottstown Joint Meeting Wrestles With Jobs Versus Lost Tax Dollars

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — During the first joint meeting of the year between borough council and the Pottstown School Board, discussion was free-flowing and frequent.

Perhaps highest on the list, and the subject which generated the most focused conversation, had to do with a business that wants to occupy the former 84 Lumber truss plant at the end of Keystone Boulevard.

Steve Bamford, the director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development Inc. and the borough’s chief economic development officer, gave for the third time, an overview of the Keystone Opportunity Zone program and the request from Heritage Coach Co. to occupy some of the space there.

Sellers of hearses and limousines, Heritage began as a side business for the Lankford family, which also operated a GM dealership in Conshohocken that was shut down during what Jay Lankford, a Hill School graduate, called GM’s “political sham of a bankruptcy.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130228/NEWS01/130229383/pottstown-joint-meeting-wrestles-with-jobs-vs-lost-tax-dollars#full_story

Property Taxes Are Killing Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is a well-written opinion piece from the Fishwrap that was sent to Governor Corbett and other state and local officials.  Sums up the state of Pottstown pretty well.

An open letter sent to Gov. Corbett and copied to state Rep. Thomas Quigley and Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath.

Gov. Corbett:

There’s a lovely stone house for sale on High Street in Pottstown.  Yes, it’s our house.  It’s reasonably priced and has piqued the curiosity of many prospective buyers but one item makes them turn and run.  “What is so frightening?” you ask.  It’s the property taxes!  Over $7,500 per year on a house assessed at $150,000.  That’s outrageous!  We have friends in other Montgomery County communities such as Springfield Township, Abington and Upper Dublin.  Their houses are assessed higher than ours but, in some cases, they pay less than half our taxes.  There is something drastically wrong with this scenario.  Pottstown ranks seventh in school taxes out of 500 Pennsylvania districts.  We also rank at the top for producing underachieving students.  We have 13.4 percent of our residents over 65, an inordinate number of Section 8 and transient residents in this blue-collar town, and high unemployment.  Property values are spiraling downward, creating a dismal sinking into the quicksand of urban destruction.

Our delusional council and school board keep raising taxes as though we were a booming town but we’ve lost our industrial base that employed hundreds at Bethlehem Steel, Firestone, Mrs. Smith’s Pies and other long-gone businesses.  Sadly, we’ve also had to say good-bye to our wonderful Pottstown Symphony.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120928/OPINION02/120929459/property-taxes-are-killing-pottstown

2010 Montgomery County Effective Tax Rates‏

The list is sorted by municipalities with the lowest tax rates on top to municipalities with the highest tax rates on the bottom.

This document speaks for itself.

Municipality 2010 ETR County Municipality School Total
  .561 Ratio Millage Millage Millage Millage
BRYN ATHYN 0.68% 2.695 8.353 1 12.048
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN 1.14% 2.695 1.685 15.24 20.31
UPPER MERION 1.17% 2.695 2.159 15.24 20.784
LOWER GWYNEDD 1.20% 2.695 1.117 17.47 21.462
PLYMOUTH 1.25% 2.695 1.6 17.249 22.32
WHITEMARSH 1.28% 2.695 2.0379 17.249 22.7579
WHITPAIN 1.32% 2.695 3.2 17.47 23.545
CONSHOHOCKEN 1.36% 2.695 3.5 17.249 24.22
UPPER FREDERICK 1.38% 2.695 1.62 19.66 24.675
NEW HANOVER 1.39% 2.695 1.68 19.66 24.735
DOUGLASS 1.39% 2.695 1.7 19.66 24.755
HATFIELD BOROUGH 1.44% 2.695 1 21.3396 25.6514
UPPER GWYNEDD 1.44% 2.695 1.012 21.3396 25.6634
AMBLER 1.45% 2.695 5.54 17.47 25.885
UPPER HANOVER 1.46% 2.695 1.45 21.76 26.0971
MONTGOMERY 1.47% 2.695 1.49 21.3396 26.1414
UPPER PROVIDENCE 1.47% 2.695 0 23.07 26.225
GREEN LANE 1.49% 2.695 2 21.76 26.6471
LANSDALE 1.50% 2.695 2.086 21.3396 26.7374
RED HILL 1.51% 2.695 2.2 21.76 26.8471
MARLBOROUGH 1.51% 2.695 2.25 21.76 26.8971
HATFIELD 1.53% 2.695 2.54 21.3396 27.1914
NORTH WALES 1.53% 2.695 2.676 21.3396 27.3274
LIMERICK 1.54% 2.695 1.213 23.07 27.438
WORCESTER 1.59% 2.695 0.05 24.24 28.325
HORSHAM 1.59% 2.695 1 24.083 28.342
TOWAMENCIN 1.60% 2.695 3.808 21.3396 28.4594
LOWER MERION 1.61% 2.695 3.78 21.4015 28.7645
PENNSBURG 1.65% 2.695 4.825 21.76 29.4721
EAST GREENVILLE 1.66% 2.695 5 21.76 29.6471
FRANCONIA 1.67% 2.695 1.0647 24.95 29.6871
LOWER PROVIDENCE 1.67% 2.695 1.512 24.24 29.787
SALFORD 1.68% 2.695 1.4 24.95 30.0224
UPPER SALFORD 1.69% 2.695 1.5 24.95 30.1224
TRAPPE 1.73% 2.695 0 27.35 30.835
BRIDGEPORT 1.73% 2.695 12.23 15.24 30.855
LOWER SALFORD 1.74% 2.695 2.324 24.95 30.9464
SKIPPACK 1.75% 2.695 0.3508 27.35 31.1858
PERKIOMEN 1.76% 2.695 0.62 27.35 31.455
ROYERSFORD 1.79% 2.695 5.7 23.07 31.925
LOWER FREDERICK 1.83% 2.695 1.75 27.35 32.585
SOUDERTON 1.85% 2.695 4.415 24.95 33.0374
UPPER MORELAND 1.86% 2.695 3.659 25.32 33.124
TELFORD 1.86% 2.695 4.605 24.95 33.2274
NARBERTH 1.87% 2.695 8.34 21.4015 33.3245
UPPER DUBLIN 1.90% 2.695 4.749 23.71 33.9121
ABINGTON 1.92% 2.695 3.7211 27.09 34.2161
SPRINGFIELD 1.93% 2.695 3.37 27.258 34.413
WEST NORRITON 1.94% 2.695 2.24 28.417 34.572
HATBORO BOROUGH 1.95% 2.695 7.358 24.083 34.7
LOWER MORELAND 1.95% 2.695 3.2 27.3803 34.7322
COLLEGEVILLE 1.95% 2.695 4 27.35 34.835
ROCKLEDGE 1.95% 2.695 4.35 27.09 34.845
SCHWENKSVILLE 1.96% 2.695 4.15 27.35 34.985
EAST NORRITON 1.97% 2.695 2.727 28.417 35.059
WEST POTTSGROVE 2.14% 2.695 1 32.917 38.075
LOWER POTTSGROVE 2.19% 2.695 1.958 32.917 39.033
UPPER POTTSGROVE 2.29% 2.695 3.775 32.917 40.85
JENKINTOWN 2.33% 2.695 5.393 31.961 41.604
NORRISTOWN 2.41% 2.695 10.6 28.417 42.932
POTTSTOWN 2.72% 2.695 9.739943 34.7347 48.55894
CHELTENHAM 2.89% 2.695 7.1413 39.24 51.4363
Municipality 2010 ETR County Municipality School Total
  .561 Ratio Millage Millage Millage Millage

Pottstown’s Unpaid Property Tax Nightmare

Please take a few moments and read this excellent article by Jeff Leflar of Code Blue!  Jeff makes some salient points about the ridiculous amount of unpaid property taxes owed the Pottstown School District.  Why are we raising taxes and punishing those people who already paid their fair share????  Let’s go after the deadbeats who owe, owe owe!!!!!

http://codebluepulse.blogspot.com/2010/07/time-for-school-board-policy-change-is.html#comment-form

Check Out This Article About Absentee Landlords In Pottstown

This is a great article (as always) from SavePottstown! regarding the absolutely blood-boiling problem that has plagued Pottstown as long as I have lived here.  That problem being absentee landlords who don’t pay their damn bills!

http://savepottstown.com/2010/04/the-deadbeat-club-case-study-1/

It’s time to get tough.  Great investigative reporting and a hat tip to my friends at SavePottstown!  Go get ’em!