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Westmoreland

Unity reinstates $5 per capita tax

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
The Unity Township Municipal Building is seen at twilight after a snowstorm on Dec. 14, 2017.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
The Unity Township Municipal Building is seen at twilight after a snowstorm on Dec. 14, 2017.

Unity residents will once again pay an annual township per capita tax after getting a brief break from the $5 levy last year.

The supervisors Thursday reinstated the tax, which residents will see in their fall tax bills.

The three-member board also amended the township's 2018 budget to add the $60,000 the tax is expected to generate for the $6.8 million budget.

Supervisors eliminated the tax for 2017, with former board member Michael O'Barto terming it a “nuisance tax.”

But Unity officials since have determined they need that extra source of revenue to help update the township municipal building on Beatty County Road.

The heating and air conditioning systems, dating from the mid-1970s, need urgent attention, according to supervisors Chairman John Mylant.

“It's getting to the point where their age is catching up,” he said. “They're shot.”

He said township staff have been using space heaters to help stay warm in the building this winter.

The building's rubber roof is among other items that are showing their age and soon will need to be addressed, Mylant said.

“We want to be proactive instead of waiting for something to break,” he said.

Unity taxpayers will see an additional increase in their real estate bills this year, as the supervisors also voted to double the township fire tax from 1 mill to 2 mills — to help eight local volunteer fire companies meet rising expenses.

That hike is expected to add about $20 to the average township property owner's bill.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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