Mayor Pawlowski recently submitted his 2015 budget to City Council for approval. The highlights include no property tax increase for the tenth straight year, and a decrease in the Earned Income Tax for non-residents who work in Allentown.
The Mayor started his budget presentation by summarizing how far Allentown has moved forward in the last few years.
“We’ve truly captured lightning in a bottle,” said the Mayor about the revitalization that has occurred in the downtown area. “We are probably one of the only Cities in the state to achieve 10 straight years of a budget with no tax increase. We have been adding police officers and cameras to increase the safety of our residents. This year we are going increase our public safety technology by purchasing cameras for all police cars and body cameras for our officers, which will improve efficiency and lower our liability. We now have more cameras on the street than Pittsburgh has.” Pawlowski noted that Allentown was again successful in securing a federal grant which will allow the City to hire five additional police officers by the end of the year.
The Mayor has also included infrastructure upgrades in the budget, including $3 million to upgrade all the city streetlights with new LED technology, which will save $200,000 to $300,000 a year in energy costs. Other improvements include $3 million to improve several City pools, including Cedar Beach and Mack, and $2.5 million for street repairs.