Personal Finance


LIMERICK PA – We’re not alone.

No, this isn’t about life on other worlds, but it does reference something almost everyone wishes was just as alien … taxes.

Limerick (PA) Township supervisors, with the infusion of a hefty amount of savings, have announced they will avoid raising property taxes next year. Some surrounding and nearby municipalities accomplished that feat, too:  Lower Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove, New Hanover, and East Coventry among them. Others haven’t been as fortunate.

To offer some perspective on what area municipalities are facing, consider these:

  • Limerick dips into reserve fund to avoid tax hike (Pottstown PA Mercury)
    Limerick (PA) Township officials have decided to use more than three-quarters of a million dollars in reserve funding to keep the $13.7 million township 2011 budget from requiring a tax hike next year.
  • Royersford budget proposal would increase taxes 17.5% (Pottstown PA Mercury)
    Royersford (PA) Borough property taxes would increase by more than 17.5 percent under the draft $3.4 million budget Borough Council was due to review Nov. 30. Manager Michael Leonard said the 1 mill tax hike being contemplated is due largely to the necessity of making up a $400,000 hole in the budget.
  • Sewer rates to go up 11% while taxes stay same (Pottstown PA Mercury)
    Although property taxes will not increase in the $1.6 million tentative budget on which the Spring City (PA) Borough Council is expected to vote, anyone who flushes a toilet will pay about $40 more per year starting in July.
  • Pottstown Borough Budget Meeting (Roy’s Rants)
    Pottstown (PA) Borough
    Council on Tuesday (Nov. 30, 2010) unanimously approved the 2011 tentative budget with a 3.1-percent tax increase. The increase equates to $25.66 per year on a home assessed at $85,000. A $177,000 deficit makes this necessary. Final budget numbers could change with further cost-cutting or asset sales.
    • Pottstown Authority increases base fee for water by 40% (Pottstown PA Mercury)
      The base rate that water customers pay, no matter how much water they use, will increase by 40 percent under the $5.9 million water budget adopted in a 3-1 vote by the Pottstown Borough Authority. The current base rate is $25 per quarter. Under the adopted budget that will increase to $35 per quarter or $140 per year.
    • Upper Pottsgrove holding line on taxes for 2011 (Pottstown PA Mercury)
      There will be no property tax hike or increase in sewer rates under the 2011 budget adopted by Upper Pottsgrove (PA) Township commissioners. If unchanged, it will be the second consecutive year that the township has adopted a budget with no tax increases.
    • Residents don’t want police cuts in budget (Pottstown PA Mercury)
      It was standing-room-only inside Phoenixville (PA) Borough Hall as law enforcement officials and residents came out in full force to inform Borough Council of their support for local police. The council’s finance committee asked the police department to trim its budget by $200,000, which could mean the potential loss of two officers.
    • No property tax hike in new East Coventry budget proposal (Pottstown PA Mercury)
      The 2011 budget presented to the East Coventry (PA) Township Board of Supervisors does not call for a property tax increase; however, working people in town will see a bigger bite out of their paychecks as a result of an open space referendum passed in the general election.
    • Amity considers sewage fee increase (Community-Buzz.com)
      Amity (PA) Township supervisors approved advertising their new budget, which required $140,000 from the general fund to make up for a shortfall. They also considered, but did not act on, a sewage fee increase of $5 a quarter to generate additional money for the sewer fund.
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    We'll shop for more gifts during 2010, according to Deloitte.

    POTTSTOWN PA – Here’s good news sure to warm the hearts of merchants across Limerick (PA) and Lower Pottsgrove Townships and the boroughs of Royersford and Pottstown: a new survey says shoppers in the greater Philadelphia area this year will outspend their national counterparts on holiday gifts.

    There is, however, another shoe to drop. The same survey says greater Philadelphia residents will spend less on the holidays overall, even if the gifts they buy are pricier.

    Shoppers across the region are expected to spend an average of $530 on gifts during 2010, compared to a national average of $466, according to an annual holiday survey by the business consulting firm of Deloitte and Touche. Its conclusions were the subject of an article Monday (Nov. 22, 2010) in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

    They’ll also buy more gifts, 18.6 gifts to be exact, compared to the national average of 16.8 gifts.

    Regional residents are cautious of overspending, though, the study noted. Consequently, for holiday spending overall, they will shell out a little less – $1,091 this season – than the national average of $1,160.

    Need motivation to start shopping? Remember …

    • At Coventry Mall in North Coventry PA: Although it’s closed Thanksgiving Day, mall stores will be open on Black Friday (Nov. 26) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday (Nov. 27) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday (Nov. 28) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. See its calendar of other holiday hours here.
    • At Upland Square shopping center in West Pottsgrove PA: Days and hours will vary by store. Check the hours for its major tenants, Target, Giant and Best Buy.
    • At Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick PA: Some stores will open as early as 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night (Nov. 25); others will open at 10 p.m., and still others at 11 p.m. Every store in the outlet center will be open at midnight on Black Friday, and remain open until 10 p.m. Then, Saturday hours will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Patronize small business owners too. Many local retailers in Limerick and downtown Royersford are advertising terrific buys, and some items they carry won’t be found at bigger stores.

    CREAMERY PA – Teens between the ages of 11 and 14 who are interested in earning money as babysitters can prepare for that profession by taking a course to be offered early next year by Montgomery County (PA) Cooperative Extension.

    The 4-H babysitting course will be held Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. from Jan. 6 through Feb. 3, 2011 at the county 4-H Center, 1015 Bridge Rd., Creamery PA. The course covers sitter responsibilities, child development, feeding, diapering, infant care, age-appropriate toys, and what to do during an emergency. A course fee of $25 will be charged. Class size is limited, and advance registration is required.

    For more information or to register, call Linda at 610-489-4315.

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    They paid how much?

    They paid how much?

    LIMERICK PA – The top price for real estate sold within Limerick (PA) Township from April 8-June 24, 2010, came in at $415,000, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reports. The property is located at 24 Pine Tree Dr.

     

    Also listed were:

    • 46 Boraten Rd., at $410,500; and
    • 55 N. Township Line Rd., $370,000.

    This week’s top reported prices were listed Sunday (Oct. 10, 2010) in “The Top 50,” the newspaper’s weekly review of highest prices paid for homes sold within the city of Philadelphia and townships in its surrounding counties.

    By contrast, during the same period, the top real estate sales price in Royersford PA Borough, immediately to the southeast, was $190,000; Lower Pottsgrove PA Township, southwest, $205,000; Upper Providence PA Township, east, $582,000; Perkiomen PA Township, northeast, $240,000; Lower Frederick PA Township, north, $373,450; Upper Frederick PA Township, northwest, none listed; and in New Hanover PA Township, west, $340,000.

    Across all of Montgomery County, the highest-priced property sold during the period went for $1,925,000, at 1862 Aloha Ln., Lower Merion PA.

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    Receiving a ready-to-heat meal, and a smile from those who deliver it, can mean a lot to the home-bound.

    ROYERSFORD PA – Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to home-bound elderly and disabled individuals in the Royersford and Lower Perkiomen Valley areas for the Montgomery County Family Services’ Meals on Wheels program, agency spokeswoman Karen Konnick reported Monday (Oct. 11, 2010).

    Meals on Wheels provides two meals, a hot lunch and a cold supper to refrigerate, to an average of 160 recipients across the western portion of the county. Despite the program’s size, Konnick said, a volunteer’s time commitment is usually small.

    Many volunteers drive only once a week, on a weekday for about an hour beginning at 10:30 a.m. from Gethsemane Tabernacle of Hope Church, 425 Walnut St., Royersford PA; or at 11:15 a.m. from Perkiomen Valley Brethren in Christ Church, 46 Trappe Rd., Collegeville PA. Others volunteer less frequently as substitute drivers, and they’re needed too.

    Volunteer drivers must have a valid driver’s license, insurance and their own reliable vehicle.  Training is provided.

    For more information or to volunteer, call Alicia Adams at 610-326-1610 Ext. 228.

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    LIMERICK PA – Mark it down, and they will come.

    Boy, did they.

    Tens of thousands of shoppers swarmed across the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, 18 W. Lightcap Rd., Limerick PA, during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10, 2010) to pick up bargains and to check out what was new at the center’s 150 stores, which collectively staged their annual Columbus Day Sale. The sale bean Friday (Oct. 8) and continues through closing tonight (Monday, Oct. 11).

    Many retailers offered at least 50 percent off their in-store prices, and several provided bonuses of up to 80 percent off. Shoppers responded in droves, packing the outlets’ parking lots on successive days and, on occasion, creating traffic back-ups on West Lightcap and Evergreen roads.

    Most guests to the center inevitably drove past the earth-moving operations that will form the foundation for the Gateway At Sanatoga shopping center, now under construction at the intersection of West Lightcap and Evergreen, just west of the outlets’ location. The construction equipment was not active and silent throughout the weekend.

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    They paid how much?

    They paid how much?


    LIMERICK PA – The top price for real estate sold within Limerick (PA) Township from April 1-June 28, 2010, came in at $360,000, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reports. The property is located at 1103 Sun Valley Dr.

    Also listed were:

    • 64 Major Rd., $340,000; and
    • 1101 Foxmeadow Dr. Bdlg 11, $164,000.

    This week’s top reported prices were listed Sunday (Oct. 3, 2010) in “The Top 50,” the newspaper’s weekly review of highest prices paid for homes sold within the city of Philadelphia and townships in its surrounding counties.

    By contrast, during the same period, the top real estate sales price in Royersford PA Borough, immediately to the southeast, was $160,000; Lower Pottsgrove PA Township, southwest, none listed; Upper Providence PA Township, east, $487,500; Perkiomen PA Township, northeast, none listed; Lower Frederick PA Township, north, none listed; Upper Frederick PA Township, northwest, none listed; and in New Hanover PA Township, west, $132,100.

    Across all of Montgomery County, the highest-priced property sold during the period went for $1,345,000, at 394 Old Gulph Rd., Lower Merion PA.

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