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Jeannette City Council expected to approve 2014 budget

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Jeannette City Council planned to approve a $5.9 million draft budget Monday night that increases the Earned Income Tax (EIT) and calls for an increase in commercial garbage rates.

The meeting ended too late for this week's edition. Bill Bedont, city finance chairman, said no changes were made to the budget since the draft spending plan was approved last month.

The EIT will increase by .35 percent, to a total of 1.5 percent collected each year from city residents.

The city will collect 1 percent, and .5 percent goes to the school district. Of the city's portion, .5 percent will be allocated strictly for paying down Jeannette's pension debt.

The police pension payment for 2013, which is about $536,000, was not paid by the end of the year and will roll over into this year and begin to accrue interest. As a result, the full pension obligation in 2014 will be $1.36 million, which forced the city to increase revenues to build a balanced budget.

In addition to the increased EIT, the city approved an increase in commercial garbage rates.

Bedont said he expects the increases to bring in about $140,000 more annually.

Additionally, once the pension payments are caught up that total obligation will begin to decrease each year and Bedont has said that is the key to righting the city's financial ship.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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