RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — For the first time in five years township real estate taxes are going up in 2020, according to the final budget approved recently by the board of commissioners. Also scheduled for increases are trash and sewer fees.

The budget shows an increase in the real estate tax millage rate of .464 mills for a total millage rate of 9.73 mills, or $973 for each $1,000 of assessed

valuation.

"This .464 millage increase means that the average homeowner with an assessed value of $120,000 will see a slight increase of their real estate tax bill of approximately $56 annually in 2020," said Assistant Township Manager Blaise J. Caponi in his budget presentation.

The sewer fee will go up $25 for a total of $375 per unit and the rubbish collection will go up $10 to $240 per unit.

The proposed general fund budget is $24,191,080, which is an increase of $1,557,000 over the current year's budget. The increase in expenditures is

reflected in the need for replacing equipment/vehicles, hiring additional police officers and additional funding for storm sewer and bridge repairs.

"We will be hiring four or five new police officers," Commssioners President Bob Willert said. "And we will be expanding our undercover unit."

The police department's annual budget is $7,848,500, which is about 32 percent of the general fund budget. The Minimum Municipal Pension Obligation for police next year is $1,237,088, while the Non-Union Minimum Municipal Pension Obligation is $441,056. Police officers who are members of the FOP will receive 3 percent raises.

The township's senior citizens rebate program will continue in 2020, with refunds of $100 for sewer charges and $50 rebate for rubbish collection charges. The total rebate of $150 is for all eligible senior citizens who qualify under the Pennsylvania Property Tax Rebate program.

Caponi noted that the township has issued more than $49,000 in rebates to eligible senior citizens so far in 2019.

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