Ralpho to double occupational tax
ELYSBURG - Ralpho Township residents who are employed will see their occupational tax double next year under a budget that was given tentative approval this week.
The board of supervisors at its meeting Tuesday night voted to increase the occupational assessment rate from 50 to 100 percent.
Township manager Joseph Springer, interviewed Thursday, explained that the tax applies to those who live in the township and have a job. In providing an example, he said a laborer who would have paid $37.50 per year will pay $75 next year if the new rate is given final approval.
"Ralpho Township has not increased taxes for several years, but with providing health care for our employees, having emergency services and 24/7 police protection, we have increased costs that we need to make more revenue for," Springer said.
He also pointed out that tax revenue was lost with the closure of manufacturers Fleetwood and Paper Magic.
Real estate millage will not change for next year. Other taxes, also unchanged, include per capita, $5; real estate transfer, 1 percent; earned income, 1 percent; LST (formerly EMST), $52 on earnings exceeding $12,000; TV franchise 2 percent, and mechanical amusement, $50 per machine.
Supervisors voted Tuesday night to advertise the budget, which must be approved in December.
In other business, the township was presented with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) opportunity.
William C. Seigel, chief of community development for SEDA-COG, told the board the township has been determined to be an entitlement community under Pennsylvania's CDBG program, Act 179, based on an urban renewal movement originated in 1984. In the past, the township only met the first part of the two-part criteria, low to moderate income, at 29 percent. A recent increase in population helped the township meet the second part.
Seigel said the township would be entitled to an annual allocation of federal funds for at least 10 years. Supervisors would need to submit an application explaining where the funds would be used. Seigel reviewed the list of eligible activities, such as property acquisition, demolition and clearance of blighted structures, housing rehabilitation and most community economic activity. He also listed the ineligible ones, such as general political activity.
The township would also need to demonstrate that the beneficiaries of the expenditures would be predominantly those of low to moderate income.
Following further explanation of the grant, Seigel told supervisors that, because of the extensive paperwork involved and the specific criteria necessary, many townships employ the services of the county to apply on their behalf. The county would receive 18 percent of the grant money as administrative funds. The board decided to initially have Springer review the documents to see if they could handle the application procedure on their own.
Estate plans OK'd
The planning commission, headed by Harvey Boyer, requested that Resolution 2011-09, Plan Revision for New Land Development Roseview Estates Sewage Module, be adopted. Following approval, the commission presented the plans for approval of the estate, which will be finalized in the near future. Danson Subdivision was also presented and will be approved contingent on several minor issues.
Supervisors approved the treasurer's report presented by township secretary Debi Olson, minutes and a list of bills.