Cheswick approves 9 percent property tax hike
As expected, Cheswick Council gave final approval Thursday night to a $1.6 million budget that will raise real estate taxes from 5.35 mills to 5.85 mills — a hike of almost 9 percent.
It means the average property tax bill will increase by about $50.
Officials attributed the hike to an overall rise of expenses across the board as opposed to one specific budget item.
Council President Paul Jack said about 140 line items were reviewed, ranging from salary increases to the cost of winter road salt.
An earlier budget was passed in late December. But boroughs are allowed to revisit their budgets in the months after a municipal election when new council members, and in Cheswick's case, a new borough secretary, take office.
Cheswick will be spending about $317,000 in public safety-related items, including police salaries and equipment.
The borough plans to spend $132,000 on public works that include routine road patching and tree trimming. Jack said no major public works projects are slated for this year.
The revisited budget passed, 4-0, with Jack, Michael Girardi, Kathy Gillard and Bob Kristof voting in favor.
Amended budgets are due by Feb. 15.
George Guido is a freelance writer.