Taxes raised in S. Lebanon so supervisor can have job as codes enforcement officer

Written by Merriell Moyer/ The Lebanon Daily News | Dec 27, 2017 11:36 AM

South Lebanon Township supervisors voted to raise taxes in part so they could add a fulltime code enforcement officer - their current chairman whose term ends Dec. 31.

David Eggert, the chairman of the board and part time code enforcement officer for the township since 2011, would earn $64,210 per year, if selected for the position, according to the budget. The position, along with benefits and $16,000 for software to be used for a proposed rental property registration ordinance, will raise the cost of code enforcement from $12,300 in 2017 to $94,010 in 2018.

"Supervisor (Jonathan) Beers has informed me that the enforcement position is going fulltime and that the couple hours Chairman Eggert puts in each month is not sufficient to do that job," South Lebanon Township resident Tom Strohm said. "He proceeds to tell me in an email that 'we are going to register rental properties and inspect them before we become (like) part of southeast Lebanon City (with) run down rentals and poor property maintenance."

Strohm was one of about 30 concerned residents and property owners who were in attendance at Tuesday's public meeting where supervisors Eggert, Beers and Stephen Krause were set to vote on the 2018 budget.

The budget, with the addition of the $94,010 for codes enforcement, will see an increase in real estate taxes from 1.33 mills to 1.48 mills.

This means a resident with a property assessed at the township's median value of $200,000 will pay $296 in 2018, according to South Lebanon Township Manager Jamie Loser Sr. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The supervisors insisted that the fulltime codes enforcement position had little impact on the tax increase and that the increase to 1.48 mills would have happened regardless.

The increase in the code enforcement department spending is by far the biggest increase in the budget published on the township's website prior to Tuesday's meeting. 

While the supervisors' intent is to promote Eggert from being part time into the fulltime codes enforcement position, Krause said that they may interview other candidates. Beers mentioned that the full time position was dependent on whether rental property registration ordinance is approved.

The supervisors, including Eggert - whose potential salary as code enforcement officer was being voted on in the budget - voted unanimously to approve the 2018 budget.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News

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