| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Ford City taxes go up in 2013 budget

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

About the increase

Using an example of taxes on a $40,000 house in Ford City with an assessed value of $20,000, the 2013 tax bill would look like this:

Old tax rate: 16.65 mills

New tax rate: 18.15 mills

Old tax bill: $333

New tax bill: $363

Tax increase: $30

By Mitch Fryer
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 1:16 a.m.

FORD CITY — The 2013 Ford City borough budget, adopted Thursday by a 3-1 vote of council, increases property taxes by nine percent and water rates by 11 percent.

The $2.6 million spending plan calls for the tax rate to rise by 1.5 mills from 16.65 mills to 18.15 mills. The increase will be about $30 for a property owner.

The general purposes portion of the tax bill climbs by 1 mill from 11.25 mills to 12.25 mills; and the special tax of 1.65 mills for street lighting increases by .5 mills to 2.15 mills.

Special taxes remain unchanged at 1 mill for the public library, .15 mills for non-uniform employee pensions and 2.6 mills for fire equipment.

Under the plan, the minimum charge for water service is increased from $27 to $30 a month; and the additional charge for over the minimum goes up by 50 cents for every 1,000 gallons.

Council members Lou Vergari, Kim Bish and Paul Harmon voted for the budget. Gene Banks and Rob Mohney were absent. Vergari said the tax increase was needed for increased street lighting costs, employee pension obligations and police expenses.

But one councilman didn't see it that way.

“It is unnecessary and irresponsible to raise taxes,” said Councilman Jerry Miklos in casting the no vote. He asked each one what cost-cutting measures they proposed.

Bish said she had saved $14,000 by making employees responsible for the co-payment in their health insurance plan.

Harmon asked Miklos the same question — “I asked you, Jerry, I got no answer other than what you did last year. We went over the budget, line item by line item. What did you do? You come to complain, that's all.”

Miklos said he was not made a part of the budget process and was invited to only one budget meeting.

“After the proposed budget we had a meeting 10 days after and there were no questions,” said Vergari. “You didn't say anything.”

“It was a little late to bring up questions and reformulate the budget,” answered Miklos.

Miklos said that in January he had trimmed an opened 2012 budget, eliminating a 2.5-mill tax increase and turning it into a reduction in spending. Council was unable to vote on the amended budget due to not having a quorum at the January meeting, he said.

After the meeting Miklos was asked by the Leader Times for his list of cost-cutting measures and he offered no specifics, instead repeating several times, “Stop spending money.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Armstrong

  1. Reopening of Armstrong County locks with public, private funding made for ‘wonderful’ boating season
  2. Kittanning man admits to stealing from vehicles, house
  3. West Shamokin High School students to moderate Armstrong commissioners’ debate
  4. National Labor Relations Board bringing charges against ACMH Hospital
  5. Public input sought on use of block grant funds for Campbell Street repairs
  6. ALDI to open in East Franklin
  7. Containment system fails at Kittanning Twp. drilling site
  8. Schall descendants gather in Plumcreek
  9. Police seek man who robbed Rayburn convenience store
  10. Talent show, concert to benefit Kittanning man
  11. Workers in East Franklin to ask judge for wages; claims refuted by ACMH