Red Lion residents shouldn't see an increase in their borough tax rate next year, but the water rate has gone up.

The borough council will vote on its 2013 budget Monday, Dec. 10, with the mill rate set to stay at 4.2 mills, according to borough manager Dianne Price.

That translates into a $630 tax bill on a $150,000 home.

Price said in the current economy, "increasing taxes is not an option."

No other rates are proposed to go up either, she said.

But the water rate, which is set by the separate municipal authority, has gone up. Keith Kahwajy, the water and sewer superintendent, said the authority recently approved a 10 percent increase, the first in several years.

The hike means residents will pay $4.27 per 1,000 gallons of water in 2013, up from $3.88 per 1,000 gallons this year.

The authority is building a new water treatment plant in Windsor Township, has lost revenue because of foreclosures and businesses closing or laying people off, and has increased costs for chemicals used to treat water, Kahwajy said of the hike.Borough government is facing cost increases of its own. The borough's workers' compensation insurance for its volunteer firefighters is going to have a "significant increase" next year, she added, as a new state law allows firefighters to make a claim if they get cancer because of toxins they are exposed to on the job.

But Price said the borough is able to absorb the increase for now and won't have to resort to implementing a fire tax, as some municipalities have done to cover increased costs.


- Reach Andrew Shaw at