Tullytown Rebate Is Recrafted Now It's A Home-improvement Property Allocation. It Was The Final Action Before The Borough Council Approved The Budget, Holding The Tax Rate Even.

Posted: December 11, 1996

TULLYTOWN — Council members last night again recrafted what has become a Tullytown tradition: an annual rebate to homeowners drawn from Waste Management Inc. payments.

A new lawsuit and tough times have called for yet another change in the seven-year-old custom. Council members unanimously renamed the payout a ``home-improvement property allocation'' and increased the amount from $1,000 to $1,250 for every property owner.

It was the finishing touch on the borough's $2.4 million budget, which was approved at last night's council meeting. Taxes remain at 46 mills, or $184 a year for the average Tullytown home assessment of $4,000.

``It's frustrating to the point that we have to get this done and get it done right so we don't have any more of these lawsuits,'' said Councilman Ed Czyzyk about the much-revised rebate.

Tullytown has been offering the payout since 1989, a reward from the millions that Waste Management pays Tullytown each year for the landfill it operates within the borough.

The payment had been used to refund real estate, streetlighting and other taxes, give a payment to every resident, and most recently as a payment to every property owner.

But after the owner of Creek Village Apartments in Tullytown filed a class-action suit over the payment plan saying it was unfair to those who pay more than $1,000 in property taxes, council members came up with a new strategy. Borough council members are offering the payment to landowners as a chance to improve their properties. Everyone who owns a business or residence will receive $1,250.

Borough residents who do not own property or own property without a building on it do not get any funds.

Czyzyk said he wanted to increase the payment by $250 because of a higher cost of living. But some residents will receive less than they did under earlier arrangements. Before, property owners would receive $1,000 per plot, instead of the $1,250 for all their properties as outlined in the current plan.

Borough Council members also voted last night to reward residents under the same format for this year's $1,000 payout.

The measure is a compromise for some council members, who said earlier they feared the gift was illegal and would eventually bankrupt the borough. Some wanted to end the payment and prepare for when the landfill shuts down and the payments stop - around 2010.

The new home-improvement property allocation received an endorsement from the borough solicitor, but that may not stop the litigation.

Creek Village attorney Richard Kempes promised earlier in the week to scrutinize the new payout.

``When it's based on real estate ownership, the program should treat real property owners the same,'' Kempes said.

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