Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:57PM - 363 Views

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EXETER ‚?? After weeks of interdepartmental wrangling and community discussions, Exeter residents now know exactly what kind of property tax increase they can expect.

Borough Council by a vote of 4-3 passed a balanced $1.46 million budget at a special budget meeting Tuesday night with a property tax increase from 1.07 mills to 1.45 mills.

With debt service fees factored into the property tax rate, the total amount property owners will pay will be 1.8 mills.

A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

Previous reports on Exeter‚??s finances incorrectly listed the current property tax rate as 1.03 mills.

Council President Denise Adams was joined by council members Joseph Pizano, John Morgan and Betty Ann DeRoberto in accepting the budget. Council members Larry Dellegrotto, Joseph Esposito and Thomas Shannon voted against.

After the meeting, Dellegrotto and Esposito said they believed further cuts could have been made to lessen the tax increase. Esposito declined to get specific, but said every department could have trimmed more from its respective budget.

Dellegrotto said he thought the budget was unrealistic. He cited vendor fees that were budgeted as $2,000 in revenue for 2012. In actuality, the borough did not collect any funding from vendor fees, yet the category was again budgeted for $2,000 for 2013. He also felt that the projected revenues from sewer hookups were roughly $5,000 too high.

Pizano cited his desire to refrain from cutting essential services such as police and fire coverage.

The council also passed by a 5-1 vote a measure to borrow $185,403 from the refuse fund to pay that amount of debt to the sewer fund. The $185,403 will be repaid to the refuse fund over the course of 10 years at no interest.

DeRoberto was absent for the vote, while Dellegrotto cast the lone vote against.

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