Mount Carmel council decides not to vote on referendum ordinance
MOUNT CARMEL - An ordinance that would allow borough voters to decide whether there's any justification to increase taxes or debt did not come to a vote Thursday night at the borough council meeting.
Vice President Leroy "Chico" Moser explained he usually supports President Tony Matulewicz, who proposed the move, but Moser said he didn't like the timing of the ordinance.
Councilmembers Clem Plisiewicz and Robert Shirmer are running for re-election and voting against such a motion would be "political suicide," Moser said.
Matulewicz should have enough faith in the current council that they won't raise taxes unless they've exhausted every other option, he said.
The president explained he support those running for council and never intended the timing of the proposal to look like a political move.
Moser, Plisiewicz, Shirmer and Councilmembers Joseph Lapotsky and Robert Barrett agreed with each other, saying the ordinance would not allow council members to raise taxes in case of an emergency and that members of the public would likely never vote in favor of raising taxes.
If the ordinance ever passed, voters would see a question on the ballot asking if they support an increase in the number of mills for property taxes and the reason it's needed.
There are currently 32 1/4 mills in total for borough taxpayers, which consists of 27 mills reserved for the general fund, 2 1/2 mills for street improvements, 2 1/2 mills reserved for street lights and 1/4-mill for the library.
At 27 mills, the borough is only three mills below the maximum millage amount allowed by state law.