This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

Lebanon city property tax rates will remain the same in 2024, the ninth straight year without an increase, following Monday night’s unanimous vote by City Council.

For 2024, the city anticipates total revenues of $14,413,153 (5.31% above 2023) and total expenses of $17,371,636 (5.32% above 2023). The resulting shortfall, $2,958,483, will be made up carrying over a surplus from 2023, resulting in a balanced budget.

Referring to the 2023 surplus carryover, Mayor Sherry Capello said “our job is to perform better than budget.”

According to Capello, the average assessed value of all city properties, residential and commercial, is $103,660, meaning that property owners pay an average of $475 per year to the city for all city services.

The city’s three largest revenue generators are the 1.4% earned income tax, the real estate property tax, which is based on the total assessed value of all properties in the city, and the 1% real estate transfer tax, charged every time a property is sold.

2024 expenses are projected to break down as follows:

  • Police, $5,525,491 (31.8% of total budget)
  • Administration (includes medical insurance and pensions), $4,326,602 (24.9%)
  • Public Safety (includes fire department), $3,948,221 (22.7%)
  • Public Works (includes streets and infrastructure), $2,681,322 (15.4%)
  • Liquid Fuel Tax Fund expenditures (maintaining state roads in city. The city expects to receive $818,068 in Liquid Fuel Tax money from the state), $890,000 (5.2%).

Other business before City Council

  • Through Oct. 31, with the 2023 budget year 83% complete, Capello reported that revenue was at 103% of the projected amount, and expenditures at 71%.
  • Capello told council that an audit of the city’s books through the end of 2022 by Barbacane Thornton & Co. revealed no material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, or non-compliance. However, the city’s net financial position has been technically lowered because $7,000,000 of American Rescue Plan funds sitting in city coffers is considered deferred income that can only be counted when it actually gets spent.
  • Council confirmed Capello’s appointment of Wayne Tarvin as an alternate member of the city’s Zoning Hearing Board. Tarvin, a registered architect, will fill the unexpired term of council member Brian Martin.
  • Council authorized city administrators to apply for a $1 million Statewide Local Share Assessment grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for the renovation and modernization of Fire Station 1 at 700 S. Eighth St. The station, built in the 1970s, houses the Hook & Ladder, Perseverance, Chemical, and Union fire companies.
  • Council passed an ordinance amendment on final reading adding Juneteenth as a parking meter holiday.

Next Lebanon City Council meetings

City Council’s next pre-council planning meeting will be on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m.

Both meetings are open to the public and will be held in the City Hall multi-purpose room, 735 Cumberland St., first floor, Lebanon.

Meetings are also 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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