Little change in Whitehall budget
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A status-quo budget has been approved for Whitehall Borough for 2013.
Few changes were made to the town's spending plan from last year, and no major capital projects are included in the budget, borough Manager James Leventry said.
“There's nothing in there that's out of the ordinary,” he said.
Whitehall Council last week, in a unanimous vote, approved a budget of $13,664,791 for 2013, which includes an $8.8 million general fund, $4.6 million sewer fund and $252,169 liquid fuels fund.
Council members, also in a unanimous vote, set the tax rate for this year at 4.32 mills, down from 5.5 mills in 2012.
Municipalities in Allegheny County are required to change their property tax rate to become “revenue neutral” based on the final certified reassessed valued of property, meaning they will not get any surplus funding from the court-ordered reassessments. That is what triggered the reduction in Whitehall's property taxes for 2013. Whitehall's total assessed property value for 2013 is $810 million. That is up from the roughly $650 million in 2012, Leventry said.
“We're very comfortable with the number and the millage rate that we came up with,” Leventry said.
Allegheny County municipalities were allowed to take a 5 percent “windfall” in 2013, something Whitehall officials opted against.
“Even though that is a reduction from our 5.5 mills last year, that is a neutral calculation,” Councilman Robert McKown said.
How the change in tax rate will affect Whitehall residents depends on the individual property owner's 2013 reassessments, Leventry said. Those who had an increase in their property value based on reassessments could be paying more, while those whose property values decreased in the reassessment process could pay less.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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