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McCandless holds the line on real estate tax rate for 2018

Tony LaRussa
| Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, 7:51 p.m.

Anticipated increases in revenue generated by new businesses will allow McCandless to keep the property-tax rate at its current level next year while boosting spending by nearly $171,000, according to town officials.

Town council last week unanimously approved a nearly $26.42 million budget for 2018 that sets the real estate tax rate at 1.236 mills, which is among the lowest in Allegheny County.

The unchanged rate means property owners will continue to pay $1.26 for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. The median assessed value of homes in McCandless is $217,000, according to town Manager Toby Cordek.

Over the past several years, increases in McCandless' annual income has gradually shifted away from money generated by new housing development to revenue from business-related taxes, Cordek said.

Property taxes are expected to generate about $3.19 million in revenue next year — about 21.3 percent of McCandless' total income. Revenue from the earned income, business privilege, real estate transfer and local services taxes are predicted to generate more than $9.05 million, which is nearly 50 percent of the town's overall anticipated revenue, he said.

The major sources for the remaining revenue include nearly $654,000 from the state; about $599,000 from charges and fees; $459,000 from license, permit and franchise fees; $118,000 from local grants and contributions; and $102,000 from the federal government.

The town is expected to receive $860,000 from the state for its share of the tax charged on gasoline, which is calculated based on the number of miles of roadway in the municipality.

The largest amount budgeted in next year's spending plan is for public safety, which will receive nearly $7.3 million for police, fire and emergency medical services; followed by public works, which will get $3.87 million.

General government operations are budgeted to receive $1.8 million and another $1 million has been earmarked for culture and recreation, which includes the town's contribution to the Northland Library.

Next year's capital improvement budget includes nearly $4.3 million for large-scale projects such as road paving and maintenance and improvements to drainage, traffic signals and parks.

About $750,000 of that money will be used to reduce flooding and improve stormwater management. Another $154,000 has been set aside to pay for a mandated program to restore stream banks and other measures that prevent silt from entering local waterways, which is a major source of pollution.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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