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.

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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.”

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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.”

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The commissioners will vote on the budget December 15th.