Hempfield to hold line on taxes
The last time Hempfield supervisors raised taxes, the township's budget was $7 million and Greengate Mall on Route 30 was the place to shop.
The population was 25,509, and the Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass would not open for another six years.
A quarter-century later, the proposed 2013 budget is $12.3 million. The population is 43,241, and Greengate Mall is history, replaced by Greengate Centre.
The 3-mill tax rate, set in 1987, remains the same.
During the past two decades, Hempfield has grown from a largely rural community to an expansive municipality where housing and commercial development have boomed. It's the largest suburb in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area, according to 2010 census data.
Board President Doug Weimer said controlled spending is a major reason why Hempfield has not needed to raise taxes.
“We pay all our bills, we paid off some loans. We strive every year to become more efficient,” said Supervisor Tom Logan, who oversees the budget.
Hempfield expects to end 2012 with a $1.4 million surplus.
Total tax revenue is $7.5 million, according to the preliminary budget.
Hempfield's major source of revenue comes from earned income and real estate taxes. Earned income revenue is pegged at $2.5 million next year. Real estate taxes are expected to generate $1.5 million. Business privilege taxes will produce more than $238,000, and local services will raise $590,000.
Hempfield has an advantage over other sizable municipalities: Its taxpayers don't fund a police force. The township relies on protection from the state police.
A task force recommended in 2009 that Hempfield continue to rely on state police, instead of establishing its own police department. Two state legislative measures that would have levied fees on municipalities without police departments were never adopted. The proposed bills could have cost Hempfield $4.2 million to $6 million.
Among Hempfield's major expenses for 2013 are more than $833,000 to run township government. That figure includes salaries, wages, benefits and insurance.
Public works will cost taxpayers more than $3.5 million; recreation, $315,000; emergency services, $587,000; legal services, $100,000; and engineering fees, $200,000.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pens get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Now a Patriot, RB Blount’s thrilled to have moved on from Steelers
- Letang produces 5 assists in return as Penguins defeat Jets, 5-3
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch creates sports medicine startup at Pitt
- Supporters optimistic about passage of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania
- Panthers drop heartbreaker in overtime to Virginia Tech
- New Derry woman charged after mail delivery of 4 pounds of marijuana
- Salem man, in lockup in Greensburg shooting, charged with threatening to kill prison guard