Green Tree council voted unanimously Monday to set the 2013 tax rate at 3.61 mills, a 17 percent decrease over the 4.35-mill levy that was in effect last year.
The action provides for discount and penalties as authorized by law.
Officials tabled action last month to set the property tax rate after learning that some real estate assessment appeals had been settled, said manager David Montz. However, when they subsequently found that the owner of one of the 10 buildings at Foster Plaza had filed an appeal, they decided there was no point in holding off on setting the tax rate.
Because about half of Green Tree's properties are commercial, the impact of reduced assessments in that sector is more significant than in residential reductions.
The county has estimated the borough's property value at $699 million, but that does not include reductions from successful appeals, Mr. Montz said. Factoring in the unsettled appeals, he estimated the borough's real estate value at $573,453,506.
The borough has created an escrow fund to repay residents who win appeals, Mr. Montz said.
Council also moved the deadline for payment of real estate property taxes from March 1 to April 1.
In a related matter, Mr. Montz was appointed tax administrator for business privilege tax collection. Robert Smulski works 24 hours a week to assist in collecting the tax.
Mr. Montz reported that a court motion is expected this week to distribute some of the refunds owed to residents from the closed Centax business and subsequent receivership.
In more business, council approved Frank Zottola Construction Inc.'s low bid of $459,605 for the third phase of the Greentree Road streetscape project between West Manilla and Pocono drives. The county must also grant approval because it is supplying a $250,000 grant for the work.
Longtime resident Donald Sortwell was appointed to a four-year term on the Civil Service Commission.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.