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Proposed Sewickley budget includes tax decrease

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Sewickley Council members are expected to approve the $5.3 million budget at the council's regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, in the borough building, 601 Thorn St.

The budget is on display for public review in the borough building and also on the borough's website, www.sewickleyborough.org.

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Sewickley property taxes could be on the way down for 2014 if council members approve the borough's proposed $5.3 million budget for next year.

As it stands, Sewickley's tax rate could drop from 6.5 mills to 5.95 mills, Manager Kevin Flannery said.

The reduction means a property owner whose home is valued at $179,900 — the average value, according to Allegheny County records — would see their tax bill drop from about $1,170 to $1,070.

The tax reduction could be short lived due in part to a property reassessment law forbidding municipalities from receiving a windfall of revenue when properties are reassessed, Flannery said. So property owners could see taxes rise in 2015.

Flannery said the borough continues to receive property assessment appeals. In October, Flannery said 27 property assessment appeals remained, including five new ones filed last month.

“With the appeals out there, you really don't know how it'll affect the numbers just yet,” Flannery said.

At least one appeal is a commercial property, which can significantly change borough figures, Flannery said.

Part of the proposed 2014 budget shows $780,000 set aside for Ferry Street sewer work and paving, according to borough documents.

Flannery said the borough continues to work its way through a road repair plan. The borough expects to spend $1.4 million in 2015 and 2016 on at least five portions of borough-maintained roads.

In his budget address to council members, Flannery said focus should be given to future needs within the municipality.

“There is a clear need to either significantly adjust current service levels or find additional resources to fund the services that the Borough of Sewickley residents and businesses have come to expect,” Flannery wrote.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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