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Shaler plans to OK $11.1 million budget

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

The Shaler Township Board of Commissioners plans to approve a balanced budget for 2013 with the hopes of being able to decrease the tax rate at a future date.

The board is scheduled to vote on the $11.1 million budget at its Tuesday, Dec. 11, meeting, however the millage rate remains a moving target.

Township manager Timothy Rogers said because of the county-wide reassessment and current appeals process, township officials still are waiting to learn how the reassessments will affect their tax revenue.

“We're not confident enough to anticipate a millage reduction (until) we receive certifiable numbers from the county,” said Rogers, who added that appeals hearings are scheduled through Dec. 31. “When we have that, we can base it on solid numbers.”

Shaler Township's current millage rate is 3.05 mills, which is equal to $305 on a home assessed at $100,000.

On average, Shaler Township's property assessments increased by 32 percent.

“There are thousands, literally, of appeals, so I anticipate that 32 percent will slide,” said Rogers, adding that he anticipated the tax rate will be adjusted “well in advance” of when the tax bills are sent.

The $11.1 million budget reflects an increase of less than 2 percent over 2012's budget with the largest portion of the township's budget, $4.6 million, allotted to public safety.

The board of commissioners recently approved a new contract with the police department through 2017, which allows for the township to budget for an additional police officer to be hired in January.

Following public safety is public works taking up about $3.6 million of the budget. The general government and parks and recreation departments receive $1.3 million each.

Currently, township management and board members are reviewing line item numbers in advance of the December vote.

“We're still reviewing (it),” said Commissioner James Boyle of the budget. “But so far, so good.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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