Carnegie officials focus on deficit, consider tax hike
Carnegie Borough Council will advertise an increased 2014 millage and business privilege tax, but neither number is set in stone.
The advertised property tax rate will be 6.83 mills, an increase of .6 mills. The advertised business privilege tax will be $250 for businesses with fewer than 10 employees and $500 for businesses with 10 or more employees — an increase of $50 and $300, respectively.
Pat Catena, council vice president and finance committee chairman, said the increases are needed to fill a shortfall of approximately $60,000 in the 2013 budget, $60,000 in the 2014 budget and to be able to match a recent grant received from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“If not, come December, we might not be paying bills next year,” Catena said. “We might have to ask employees to wait until January to get paid. Or, we start cutting positions.”
He stressed that neither the millage nor the business privilege tax are set in stone and will not be until council has a final vote on the budget. He said the numbers could fall depending on the payments the borough receives in the next several weeks.
Part of the increased budget expenditures for 2014 include the replacement of the borough's 13th police officer, which was vacated when then-sergeant Jeff Kennedy took over the role of chief when Jeff Harbin retired.
“I realize people can only afford so many tax dollars, but I'm not willing to sacrifice public safety,” Catena said.
Council President Rick D'Loss said that, with the average house in Carnegie being assessed at $77,000, the average household would see a tax increase of approximately $46.
He said council made a mistake last year in lowering the rate from 7.2 to 6.23 mills.
“Last year, we reduced too much,” D'Loss said. “There are inflationary increases we have to deal with, and this is how you do that.”
On top of the 2013 and 2014 shortfall council has been anticipating, a recent $199,000 grant from the DCNR calls for the borough to match the amount over three years, a match that may have to be front-loaded.
“We have to come up with the whole amount over three years,” Catena said. “We need to come up with about $160,000 next year.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or email@example.com.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Around Town: Char Valley grad named aquatics director at center
- Ramps at Carnegie exit to open soon
- Carlynton student will light tree to kick off Carnegie Borough holiday season
- Smith: South Fayette teacher to lead music education group
- LifeSpan closes senior center in Bridgeville
- Oyler: A trip down memory lane with the Waynesburg & Washington Railroad