Export officials consider 2-mill tax cut

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 8:59 a.m.

Export residents likely will receive a tax break next year.

Borough officials Tuesday presented a 2013 budget that includes a 2-mill tax rate decrease.

If approved, the owner of a home assessed at $25,000 — which is the average value of Export homes — would pay $50 less in borough property taxes.

“Congratulations go out to council for operating the borough in such an effective manner to meet expenses but to also reduce taxes,” solicitor Wes Long said.

“It's quite an accomplishment for council, the mayor and the (Joseph “Junior” Hall) trust.”

Borough secretary Tonia Waryas presented the $653,053 budget Tuesday evening. Waryas, who prepared the budget with Mayor Michael Calder, said earned-income tax revenue “exceeded our expectations” during the first year of the countywide collection.

The borough also recently paid off a series of past-due bills to engineering firm Gibson-Thomas and is receiving additional revenue from a rental proeprty and the Marcellus shale impact fee.

Council raised the tax rate by 1.4 mills in 2011, which was the first increase for the borough in 13 years.

If council approves the 12-percent decrease to a rate of 14 mills next year, the local property tax rate would be at its lowest since at least the 1990s.

“We can review the numbers later in the year, and reconsider the decrease,” Waryas said.

“But we feel confident that our predictions are accurate.”

The proposed budget includes an anticipated $284,121 in sewage revenue and $118,450 in tax revenue.

Councilman Stanley Mahinske questioned whether council should consider a decrease, considering a proposal from the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority that would create an addition $3 fee for customers. Mahinske suggested the borough absorb that cost.

“I'm no mathmetician, but maybe we wouldn't have to collect (that fee),” he said.

Council voted 4-0 to advertise the budget. Councilmen Lou McQuaide, Clay Soles and John Nagoda were absent.

Council will hold a special meeting later this month to adopt the budget.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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