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Luzerne County Council Approves 2020 Budget with Real Estate Tax Hike

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Property owners in Luzerne County will soon see a tax hike for the first time in years. Tuesday night’s budget meeting was a lon...

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Property owners in Luzerne County will soon see a tax hike for the first time in years.

Tuesday night's budget meeting was a long one, lasting late into the night.

In the end, the Luzerne County Council approved a budget for next year,  and it calls for a real estate tax hike of 3.25%.

What does that mean? It means the average property owner in the county will pay $20 more per year. That's about $1.75 per month.

The original proposal called for a 5% hike, but some council members wanted to whittle that down.

The vote was 7 - 4.

The council had until Sunday to pass a budget.

While they say they didn't want a tax hike at all, council members say rising costs of healthcare and pensions are among the reasons they needed to do it.