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Baldwin Township officials waiting to set property tax rate

| Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 12:43 p.m.

Baldwin Township officials will hold off as long as they feasibly, and legally, can to set a tax rate for this year, leaders said Tuesday.

Commissioners at their agenda setting meeting last week approved the township's $2,663,035 2013 budget, that includes $150,000 in road improvements and $914,699 in sewage work, in a unanimous vote.

Yet, with 15 properties still having outstanding assessment appeals — several of which are commercial — officials are waiting to implement a tax rate.

The rate must be set 10 days before the township sends out its bills, solicitor Thomas McDermott said. The township typically distributes its tax bills at the end of April, said tax collector Marilyn Wagner.

“The longer we wait, the more accurate number we have on which to calculate our millage,” McDermott said.

Due to countywide reassessments this year, municipalities in Allegheny County were granted an extension and budget passage was required by the end of January, instead of December.

As part of the process, municipalities must change their property tax rate to become “revenue neutral” based on the final certified reassess values of properties, meaning they will not get any surplus funding from the property reassessments.

Municipalities can, however, take a 5-percent “windfall,” which Baldwin Township officials have said they plan to do.

Manager search

A search for a new manager in Baldwin Township is moving forward, officials said Tuesday.

Discussions about the position, however, will take place in executive session.

Resident Gary Moeller questioned commissioners Tuesday about the search to replace longtime manager Mary McGinley, who is scheduled to retire this March after 38 years in the township.

“It's progressing,” commission President Eileen Frisoli said, while declining to comment further about the position or number of applicants.

All but one of the commissioners — John Paravati, whose wife has applied for the job — will conduct interviews for the manager post, along with McGinley and the township solicitor, Frisoli said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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