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Liberty reduces property taxes by 10 percent

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 4:56 a.m.

Liberty's 17 percent increase in reassessed property values is translating — so far — into a 10 percent millage reduction.

“I hope it is not cutting it too close,” Solicitor George Gobel told Liberty council prior to its vote on Wednesday to approve a reduction from 5 to 4.5 mills. “There are still some major appeals outstanding.”

The reduction is from 4 to 3.6 mills for the general fund, 1 to 0.9 for the fire tax. Each mill nets approximately $87,000.

Gobel said the neutral rate was pegged at 3.35 mills, with 0.25 mills allowed to keep the borough within the state's 5 percent windfall limit in the year after a reassessment.

Gobel said he found humor in county controller Chelsa Wagner's claim that she would be a watchdog over the assessment process.

“Every problem we have had with this issue was created by Allegheny County,” the solicitor said.

Council again held off payment of McKee Paving's $167,685 bill for last year's street work. Finance chairman Janice Matyasovsky said a state loan to cover that bill still has not arrived.

She said the state required a separate bank account be opened before it would process the loan, but the state waited too long and the account was closed by First Commonwealth Bank.

At council health and ordinance chairman Jesse Paradise's motion, a hearing was authorized about the adoption of codifying ordinances. It will be held sometime around next month's council meeting.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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