Blairsville Council on Tuesday approved a tentative 2013 budget that totals $1,747,662 and includes a 1.9-mill property tax increase.
Even with the tax hike, which will increase millage to 23.91, the budget total represents a decrease of about $25,000 from the 2012 budget.
Borough officials noted the amount generated by one mill has decreased over the past year — from $22,108 to $21,793.
Also, liquid fuels funding, received through the state gasoline tax, is expected to decrease from $81,436 to $73,658.
“We cut a lot out of this budget,” said council member Ron Evanko, who chairs the finance committee. “The government is not reimbursing us what they used to.” But, he added, “The hardest thing to do is to raise taxes.”
“We pretty much lost almost 2 mills from the state,” said borough manager Tim Evans. He pointed out the borough has not increased taxes since 2009.
The 1.9-mill hike would cost the average household about $14 extra per year.
Evanko said the borough was able to trim expenses in a number of areas including administrative costs while keeping a lid on others.
He noted public works spending is increasing by $6,730, to $173,341, and police expenditures are slated to rise by about $21,000, to $330,542. He cited a new police car and new radios for officers as big ticket items that will be needed.
Jeff Himler is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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