HAZLETON -- The mayor of Hazleton signed city council’s budget into effect, which raises property taxes by 30 percent. This is all part of a $10.4 million spending plan.
The property tax hike is the first in five years. Some homeowners in Hazleton aren’t too happy about it.
Art Young has lived in Hazleton his entire life. He said he loves the city, but raising property taxes makes life more difficult for him.
“I'm retired and on a single income. It adds up to a lot of money, but the law is the law. We have to pay it,” Young said.
City council approved the budget 3-2, and the mayor signed it on Monday.
The property tax increase will pay for city employees, city loans, and new police officers.
“All my life we never expected the government to pay for everything. We always paid our way, but now it's just getting more difficult,” Young said.
Under the new budget, Mayor Jeff Cusat said the median homeowner will pay another $107 in property taxes every year.
“The median house in Hazleton is valued at about $79,200 that meaning in the past that home paid $357 and now it will pay $464,” Mayor Cusat said.
Owner of Ripa Jewelers and Hazleton homeowner Jake Ripa said a property tax hike is tough on everyone, but having more police officers is good for business.
“Being in the jewelry business that is always a great thing for us to have more police protection and they are very visible in the community and I just think this will give business a boost,” Ripa said.