The Lehigh County Commissioners passed an amended version of the county executive's budget at their meeting Oct. 24.
The amendment directed the county executive to reduce county spending on personnel by $5 million, and turned a $6.5 million one-time tax credit into a reduction of the millage rate by a percentage that would decrease county revenue by $5 million. The remaining $1.5 million will remain as a tax credit.
Commissioners Vic Mazziotti, Scott Ott, Lisa Scheller, Michael Schware and Thomas Creighton III voted in favor of the amended budget.
Lehigh County Commissioners put forth two competing budget amendments aimed at lowering real estate taxes for the 2013 fiscal year at their Oct. 8 meeting.
The first amendment, sponsored by commissioners Scott Ott, Thomas Creighton, Lisa Scheller, Michael Schware and Vic Mazziotti, would reduce the $6.5 million tax credit proposed by the county executive by $5 million, and reduce the millage rate to decrease real estate tax revenue by $5 million instead.
Lehigh County Commissioner Sept. 12 Daniel McCarthy withdrew a bill he had sponsored to put forth funding from the community revitalization grant program.
Lehigh Valley Commissioners augmented funding to the offices of public defender, district attorney, and county coroner at its Aug. 22 meeting. According to Commissioner Percy Dougherty, crimes, including homicide, are up in the Lehigh Valley.
"The number of cases the public defender handles has increased drastically," he said. "It's almost guaranteed that the public defender is going to be back to us for more funding by the end of the year."