ShareThis Page

Tax increase looms in Leetsdale; portion to focus on roads

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

As it stands now, Leetsdale property owners will see the borough's millage increase next year.

Council members last week, by a 5-1 vote, approved increasing the borough's tax rate from 8 to 10 mills. Roger Nanni voted no. Osman Awad was not present.

Of the 10 mills, 2 mills will be set aside for road repairs, President Joe McGurk said.

But Nanni said the budget — as approved — has flaws.

“I don't see how we can adopt a budget so far off,” Nanni said before voting against the more than $2 million budget.

“You overestimated our revenue (and) underestimated our expenses and just shot ourselves in the foot. If you adopt this budget, you're going to find yourself in a hell of a mess.”

Nanni said concerns remain with outstanding appeals from the Allegheny County assessment process.

He also said the borough's abatement process could drop revenue more than $150,000.

With a 10-mill tax, property owners whose properties are assessed at $71,550 — the median value, according to the Allegheny County treasurer's office — would pay about $715 in taxes before any abatement figures are calculated.

McGurk said leaders could reopen the budget early next month due to a reorganization of council. Council terms for Nanni and Awad end this month. Residents Thomas Belcastro and Michael Nobers won seats on borough council and will be sworn in early next month.

But McGurk questioned why Nanni waited to raise concerns with the budget until council's meeting to adopt it.

“This has been on the window (at the borough building) since last month. How come you didn't see fit to come see us in the last 30 days to discuss this?” McGurk said to Nanni.

Nanni said a copy of the budget he received via e-mail did not properly open on his computer.

“You sent me something that's totally useless to me,” Nanni said to McGurk.

“As far as I knew, you received (the budget),” McGurk replied.

Under state law, copies of the budget must be made available to the public in advance of approving it. Leetsdale leaders said the budget was available at the borough building and Sewickley Public Library.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.