Reading, Pennsylvania

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials P
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Administrative Officials P
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying P
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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Transparency grading process
”’Reading”’ is a city located in Berks County, [Pennsylvania]. The 2010 census reported the population at 88,082, making it the fifth most populated city in the state and the sixth most populated municipality.

The city name derived from the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which brought anthracite coals from the Pennsylvania coal region to cities along the Schuykill River.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Pennsylvania city websites

This website was most recently reviewed on 12 Feb 2012.

The good

  • Council meetings, agendas, and minutes are published. Additionally, meetings are available for viewing online.[2]
  • Elected Councilmembers information is published, including personal information, but not contact information.[3]
  • Administrative officials are published, including contact information.[4]
  • Audits and Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports are available, although not easy to locate.[5]
  • Budget information is available
  • Zoning information is available.[6]
  • Permits and licensing information is available, including code enforcement information.[7]
  • Bids are postings and schedules are posted.[8]
  • Tax information is available.[9]
  • Public records are complete.[10]

The bad

  • Contact information for Councilmembers is unavailable.
  • Email addresses are unavailable for many department heads as well as Councilmembers.
  • Some lobbying information is available, but is not comprehensive.

Elected Officials: Council Members

Name Title
Thomas McMahon Mayor
Vaughn Spencer Council President
Frank Acosta District 1
Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz District 2
Dennis Sterner District 3
Stratton Marmarou District 4
Donna Reed District 5
Jeffrey Waltman District 6

Administrative Officials

Name Title
Charles Younger City Solicitor
Unlisted on Auditor page City Auditor
Daniel Robinson Director of Community Development
Chief Kevin Kulp Chief Fire & Rescue
John Nagel Director Administrative Services
William Heim Chief of Police Department
Charles Jones Director of Public Works

Budget

The total revenue for 2010 is $120,166,105, a $-6,782,593 difference from the 2011 proposed budget ($126,948,697).[11]

Stimulus

The city of Reading received $36,404,864 in federal stimulus money through eighteen grants.[12]

Local taxes

Property taxes generated $15,771,240 in 2010 and is expected to generate $17,889,630 in 2011.[13]

TAX RATE
Earned Income Tax (Resident) 3.60%
Earned Income Tax (Nonresident) 1.3% Maximum
Local Services Tax $52.00/YR
City Real Estate Tax 14.334 MILLS
Business Privilege Tax, service 2.25 MILLS
Business Privilege Tax, commission 2.25 MILLS
Business Privilege Tax, rental 2.25 MILLS
Business Privilege Tax, retail 1.5 MILLS
Business Privilege Tax, wholesale 1.0 MILLS
Per Capita Tax District 4

City In the News

  • In November 2011, City Council agreed to cut the year-old commuter tax by two-thirds in 2012, as scheduled by the city’s Act 47 financial recovery plan.[14]
  • In February 2011, Berks County Sheriff Department and Sheriff Eric Weaknecht refused to respond to a Right to Know request filed, questioning human rights abuses, questionable sales practices, missing guns, and numerous other questionable practices.[15]

References