PERKASIE — Borough property taxes would stay the same, but electric and trash collection fees would increase under the proposed 2019 budget, Joe Berardi, Perkasie's finance director, said.

Perkasie is one of only 35 Pennsylvania communities that owns and operates its own electric utility, according to information on the borough's website.

The proposed 2019 budget would hike customer electric bills by $3 per month, taking the current $14 a month residential customer charge to $17 and the current $33 monthly commercial customer charge to $36, Berardi said.

In addition to the monthly customer charge, there is also a consumption charge, based on the amount of electricity used; the current average residential monthly electric bill is $154.88, he said. 

The trash collection fee is proposed to go from the current $15 per year to $20, he said. The trash toter fee is proposed to go from the current $70 per quarter year to $75 per quarter, he said.

Total revenue for the proposed budget comes to $18,164,589, with expenses pegged at $18,000,379, budget information shows. 

"The reason that the revenue and expenses are higher than 2018 is due to the inclusion of several large Capital projects that are primarily being paid with Grant monies," Berardi wrote in a memo to other borough officials.

"Revenue and spending are impacted by $775K and $949K respectively by the Grant related projects. The difference of $174K is being paid by the Borough," he wrote. "Had we not included those items, our total spending would have decreased by 1.6 percent and our total revenue would have decreased by .3 percent." 

Budget notes include that health care costs are increasing by 4.3 percent, workers' compensation costs are decreasing by 1.6 percent and property and liability insurance costs are increasing by 2.3 percent.

The borough property tax rate would remain at 6.25 mills, consisting of 4.75 mills for the general fund and 1.5 mills for the fire tax, Berardi said. The average home assessment in the borough is $26,532, he said, putting the borough property tax bill for a property with that assessment at $165.83. Each mill equals $1 of tax per $1,000 of assessed property value.  

Perkasie Borough Council is scheduled for a final vote on the budget at council's meeting Monday, Dec. 17, Berardi said. 

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