Township Slashes Taxes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP -- Taxes are going up all over from cities to school districts.

However, in one Lycoming County community, leaders there have decided to cut taxes in half.

Loyalsock Township surrounds most of the city of Williamsport.

While the city's mayor is proposing a tax increase for next year, township leaders have decided it is time to give property owners a break.

When it comes to taxes, there is little about that word that gets anyone excited unless you own property in Loyalsock Township.

Then next year, your taxes are not going up. They are not even staying the same. The are going down.

Debra Shaheen has lived on Clayton Avenue in the township for a couple of decades and just found out that for every $100,000 a home in the township is worth, owners will pay $70 less in taxes.

"It couldn't come at a better time, the holidays, everyone's strapped for money," said Shaheen.

That is why township leaders said they voted to cut taxes in half for next year.

"We decided it would be to our interest to try to help residents at this time when everything's going up," said Loyalsock Township Supervisor John Bower.

Supervisors point to lots of development as well as paying for projects with grant money as reasons for a budget surplus.

Not to mention, Loyalsock Township has a volunteer fire department and relies on state police coverage.

The City of Williamsport, on the other hand, has a paid police department and a paid fire department and all the rising costs that go with them.

So the city's mayor is proposing a slight tax increase for next year.

"The bottom line is our expenses are outweighing our income that's coming into city," said Mayor Gabe Campana.

Campana said the city has seen its fair share of development; new hotels and businesses, just like Loyalsock Township.

Unlike the township, the mayor's administration decided to give tax breaks to some businesses and will have to wait ten years to see that tax money which should help the bottom line.

"We're planning for the future, to me it's a reinvestment, 5 years from now, 10 years from now. We'll be getting a lot of additional taxes. We're just going through a challenging point right now," said Campana.

In Williamsport, if the mayor's budget is passed, city property taxes would go up $85 for every $100,000 a home or business is worth, a far cry from what some other cities in our area are proposing for tax increases.