By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – About 100 people packed a public hearing on Montgomery County’s proposed budget, which includes a property tax increase of 11-percent — or about $66 per year — for the average homeowner.

At the center of the debate, a property tax increase that would create a dedicated funding source to Montgomery County Community College, to the tune of $23-million.

But Republican commissioner Joe Gale points out the community college in the past has been allocated money from the county’s operating budget. And the new $23-million isn’t replacing that $18-million, but instead being collected on top of it:

“In truth, less than one-fourth of the revenue generated from this tax is actually new, dedicated funding for the community college.”

Busloads of community college supporters were brought to speak at the budget hearing. Also, nearly a dozen retirees, mostly against the proposed hike:

“I’d like to stay in the area,” this one man said. “I have a family and a grandson, but I don’t know if I can. At some point with the real estate taxes increasing I’m going to have to leave.”

The commissioners will vote on the budget December 15th.