Ford City taxes go up in 2013 budget
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.”
Show commenting policy
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.
- Letters show Ford City had chance at cutting debt by more than $450K
- Ford City woman injured in crash
- Rescuers find lost Mahoning teen using cellphone location
- Armstrong County Jail commitments
- Historical society seeking Armstrong school district’s help, property
- Bond reduction denied for boy accused of fatally shooting Leechburg man
- Few changes on Armstrong primary ballot after withdrawal deadline
- Incumbent steps aside, mayor enters council race in Ford City
- Ford City residents frustrated with borough’s mounting problems
- Armstrong cuts one of its hard-to-recycle collection days
- Senior care center opening April 1 in East Franklin