Early North Huntingdon budget reflects tax cut
By Brad Pedersen
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
The North Huntingdon board of commissioners took the first step to reducing the township's tax rate when it passed its 2013 preliminary budget last week.
The $14 million budget includes plans to lower the real estate tax rate by one mill and spend about $2.2 million of its $7 million reserve fund next year, according to manager John Shepherd.
The spending plan takes $2.2 million from the reserve fund to pay off the township's $1.8 million mortgage on the public works building and dedicates an additional $400,000 to the 2013 road program, Shepherd said.
“We plan to pay off the public works building before the end of the year,” said Shepherd, noting the township had 13 years remaining on the building's mortgage.
Shepherd said paying off the building will save the township a total of approximately $530,000 in interest over the next 13 years.
Shepherd said the average assessed value of a home in the township is $25,000.
Under the current rate of 12.55 mills, the average taxpayer receives an annual tax bill of $313.75 from the township.
After reducing the tax rate by 1 mill, the average taxpayer would receive an annual tax bill of $288.75, creating a savings of $25.
Each mill generates approximately $350,000.
Commissioners President Lee Moffatt said the budget and reduced millage are good ways to begin addressing the township's surplus.
“It's a great thing to cut taxes, and with our surplus, I think we need to give back to the taxpayers,” Moffatt said.”
The township accrued a $3.4 million surplus between 2007 and 2011, after it spent less money than it brought in.
The largest surplus came in 2007, when the township spent $8.5 million of its $10 million budget, which created a $1.5 million surplus for the general fund reserve.
In 2011, the most recent records available, the township's budget created an $817,563 surplus, which ended up in the general fund reserve.
Moffatt said the commissioners need to continue working to reduce the township's surplus.
The commissioners plan to work on a policy to cap the township's surplus to about 30 percent of its general fund, Moffatt said.
“We want to make sure we don't cut our surplus too low or let it get too high again,” Moffatt said.
Moffatt said he expects the policy discussion to begin during the first quarter of 2013.
The commissioners plan to approve the final 2013 budget during the Dec. 19 voting meeting.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New East Suburban YMCA official to focus on staff development
- Prom dress consignment sale a hit with Norwin High School students
- Little help coming from Norwin municipalities with pothole damage
- North Huntingdon chief says officer has been creating a ‘negative environment’
- North Irwin council members fill final vacancy
- Highlights from chief’s statement to North Huntingdon commissioners