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Plum votes to lower millage; property taxes to drop for some

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Some Plum property owners will see a decrease in their borough taxes this year.

Council members during a special meeting on Monday night voted to lower the borough millage from 4.3 to 3.78.

A mill in Plum generates about $1.2 million,

The move is a result of the county property reassessment process.

Under state law, taxing bodies cannot reap more than an additional 5 percent in revenue as a result of reassessments and must adjust tax rates accordingly.

Manager Michael Thomas said property values overall in Plum increased 20 percent as a result of the reassessments.

“Municipalities are not permitted to achieve a windfall,” Thomas said.

Councilman Michael Dell, finance committee chairman, said members for the past several months crunched the numbers before arriving at the 3.75 rate.

“We lowered the millage rate by 12 percent to help offset the higher assessment,” Dell said.

Thomas said a property owner whose home is assessed at $150,000 pays $645 a year in borough taxes.

He said if the property owner's assessment remains at $150,000, the lowered tax rate will result in a borough tax bill of $567 or a $78 savings.

A 10 percent assessment increase will result in a $623 borough tax bill or a $22 annual savings, Thomas said.

A 15 percent assessment increase means a property owner will pay $652 or $7 more in borough taxes.

Also, a 20 percent assessment increase means a $680 borough tax bill or an additional $35.

Borough council in December voted to approve the 2013 budget of $11 million that did not raise taxes and kept the millage at 4.3.

The last borough real estate tax increase was 1 mill in 2008.

The initial draft of the budget contained a nearly $1 million deficit.

The Plum School Board on Tuesday night was expected to consider lowering the school district millage from 22.2 to 18.75.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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