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Pine budget proposal has lowest tax rate in the county

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:55 p.m.

Pine Township's proposed $12 million 2013 budget features the lowest municipal real estate tax rate in Allegheny County.

Pine supervisors voted Nov. 5 to advertise the 2013 money plan for 20 days, as required by law, before they vote Dec. 3 on the budget.

“The real estate tax millage has remained at 1.2 mills since 2002, and Pine remains the lowest in municipal tax millage within Allegheny County,” said Pine Township manager Cheryl Fischer, who prepared the proposed 2013 budget.

Residents who own a property valued at $228,950 — the median property value in Pine — will owe $274 in real estate taxes to Pine Township in 2013.

The proposed 2013 budget balances expenses expected to total $12,045,197 with the same sum in anticipated revenue.

“Revenues from taxes and special assessments are expected to be $7,494, 957,” Fischer said. “This includes real estate tax, earned income tax, local services tax and gross receipts tax.”

Pine's proposed 2013 budget sets aside $1.6 million for local road improvements, and approximately $1.4 million for the Northern Regional Police Department, plus $430,710 for the Wexford Volunteer Fire Department.

The 2013 money plan also sets aside $370,275 for 6,500 tons of salt for winter road maintenance, and $227,993 for the Northern Tier Regional Library.

Among anticipated capital expenses, the proposed budget allocates $1.25 million for new traffic signals and turning lanes at Route 910 and Pearce Mill Road, plus $335,280 for pedestrian improvements along Route 910 near North Chapel Drive and South Chapel Drive.

The budget also sets aside $153,300 for a new truck in Pine's fleet of snow removal equipment.

Pine also expects to contribute $428,000 to PennDOT for the cost of constructing sidewalks and installing traffic signal poles along the Wexford Flats portion of Route 19, plus $318,943 for the purchase of trees slated for planting along Route 19.

In approving the proposed 2013 budget, Pine supervisors also gave Fischer the green light to adjust the money plan to accommodate a recently announced 30 percent increase in the cost of health insurance for the township's 23 full time employees.

“I'm trying to negotiate to get it lowered,” Fischer said. “The board (of supervisors) has not suggested an increase in employee contributions.”

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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