2023 will mark the eighth straight year with no increase in the city property tax.

Lebanon City Council last night passed an ordinance that officially sets the 2023 tax rate at 4.581 mills, the same as 2022. That means that the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 will continue to pay $458.10 annually.

One mill of taxation generates about $815,000 of annual tax revenue for the city treasury, according to Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello.

Next year’s rate is based on the $15.6 million budget passed by council at its November meeting.

City to funnel state money to cannabis producer

Council approved two resolutions that allow the city to apply to Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (“RAC-P”) for a total of $3,750,000 for the Whole Plants Health expansion and conversion project in the old cocoa mulch building near North 8th Avenue and Cumberland Street.

Whole Plants grows and processes medical grade marijuana in the 111-year-old building, which was originally a steel foundry.

RAC-P money has to be distributed from the state to the city, which in turn passes it through to the ultimate grantee, in this case Whole Plants.

Capello said the city will receive up to $10,000 plus 1% of the grant amount for its costs in acting as pass-through agent.

Whole Plants CEO Jim Smith thanked the city for its help and told council that, when the $40 million expansion project is complete, his company hopes the 94,000-square-foot facility will add 130 full-time jobs at a minimum rate of $16.50 per hour.

“We looked at probably 25 sites in the area, not all in the city. … We really like being in Lebanon, we feel welcome,” Smith told council.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

Other business before city council

  • Through Nov. 30, with the fiscal year 92% complete, Capello reported that revenue and expenditures were at 111% and 78%, respectively, of 2022 budget projections.
  • Council passed an ordinance forgiving late payment penalties for new homeowners who do not receive a tax bill in their first year of ownership. A state law that went into effect in October allows the waiver.
  • Capello informed council that she is re-appointing Robin Getz and Helen Westphal as the city’s delegate and alternate delegate to the Lebanon City Tax Collection Committee for one-year terms effective Jan. 1. Collection of the county’s earned income tax is consolidated countywide, and each municipality and school district is represented on the committee.
  • Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance setting fees for organizations who want to use City Hall facilities, such as the multipurpose meeting room.
  • Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance setting $25 monthly rental fees for two parking lots at 10th and Water streets, once a drop-off point for the old Northwest Elementary School, and at C&L and Gannon streets.
  • Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that will make technical changes to an inter-municipal stormwater pollution reduction agreement to comply with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Services requirements. Cooperating municipalities are Cleona Borough and North Cornwall, North Lebanon, and South Lebanon townships.

Next council meeting

City Council will hold its annual reorganization meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, in the City Hall multi-purpose room at 735 Cumberland St., 1st floor, in downtown Lebanon.

Meetings are streamed live on YouTube here.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


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