Share This Page

North Huntingdon posts preliminary budget

| Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

North Huntingdon commissioners on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a 2013 budget that would cut taxes and pay off some debt.

Township officials will now publicly display the $14 million spending plan that would drop property taxes to 11.55 mills. They'll consider the budget for final approval next month.

If given the go-ahead, the budget would also funnel an additional $400,000 to pave roads. It would pay off about $2.7 million remaining on a loan for the township public works department facility. About 13 years remained on the loan for the public works building, township manager John Shepherd said.

Township Commissioner Lee Moffatt, president of the board, called for a 1-mill tax cut in October. He's expressed concern about having “too much money” in the township's $7 million reserve fund.

Shepherd said he's reviewing sample policies that set guidelines for reserve fund dollars.

A real estate tax cut is a rare occurrence. During the past five years in Westmoreland County, 62 tax increases and six decreases were recorded, among 65 municipalities, according to county data. In all but one, cuts amounted to a half-mill or less.

In North Huntingdon, a 1-mill tax cut would drop the real estate tax rate to 11.55 mills, saving the average homeowner $25 to $30 on a home assessed between $25,000 and $30,000. One mill of property tax generates $350,000 in the township.

Contributing to the extra cash: The township has collected more delinquent taxes than expected and spent less than anticipated, plus residential development has bolstered transfer tax and real estate transaction fees.

Commissioners will vote on the budget and tax rate in December, Shepherd said. A budget is due by the end of the year.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.