Tax rate set in December to stand in Indiana Twp.
Indiana Township residents might feel as if their property-tax rate is on a roller coaster.
Township supervisors set the rate at 2.95 mills in December.
Township Manager Daniel Anderson last month warned that property reassessments might necessitate another look at the tax rate.
February's valentine was the information that the rate set at the end of last year will stand for 2014.
Some belt-tightening might be required, though.
Supervisor Daniel Taylor asked Anderson if he could create a list of possible areas for budget cuts. Taylor said the supervisors would like to help prioritize the options.
The bumpy financial picture was forced by information coming from Allegheny County.
Anderson provided a historic review of all the properties in the township. In 2013, property in the township was assessed at $639 million. This fall, the county reported an assessed value of $627 million, down $12 million.
Then, at the end of the year, the county certified $622 million because of reassessments, including the Bayer property — formerly the MEDRAD property — on Route 910.
The reduction in the assessed value of that property was the second major hit to the township.
Earlier last year, Concordia of Fox Chapel, also located on Route 910, was taken off the tax rolls. It now is associated with Concordia Lutheran Ministries, a nonprofit organization and therefore tax-exempt. This decrease meant 2013 budgeted revenues took a hit.
However, taxable real estate assessed at $1 million also was added for 2014.
Real-estate-tax revenues were $20,000 short of the 2013 budgeted amount. However, strong totals from the 1-percent sales tax and good results from the earned-income tax last year helped the township balance last year's budget.
As with other communities, work to clear snowy roads and salt purchases have put pressure on the township's budget already this year.
Anderson said past practice has been to reduce summer road maintenance — including paving — if there is a financial need.
Township officials note that even though budgeting real-estate-tax revenue is difficult, Indiana Township's tax rate remains lower than the 2012 level of 3.25 mills.
In 2013, the rate was 2.71 mills and the rate is 2.95 for this year.
Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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.