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Most Bridgeville residents to see taxes rise

| Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, 10:15 a.m.

Most residents of Bridgeville will see their 2018 property taxes increase.

But under a new formula to calculate millage, the exact amount on average can fluctuate.

Council approved next year's budget and millage rates at a meeting last night. Replacing a flat 5.5 mills on real estate, council adopted an ordinance that will place 6.5 mills on buildings and 10 mills on the land.

Borough manager Lori Collins said under the new formula some residents will see their taxes go down, but the average rate will increase $200.

The 2018 budget calls for an increase of $375,000 in real estate tax revenue.

The budget also calls for a nearly $200,000 increase in general fund spending to slightly more than $3 million.

Collins said collective bargaining agreements with borough employees will go up an average of 4.5 percent.

According to the Allegheny County Treasurer's office website, only three other municipalities — Clairton, Duquesne and McKeesport — had separate millages for land and buildings.

Collins said the borough's limited opportunities for growth can lead to stagnant revenues.

“We're built out, so we don't have any development,” she said.

To offset the increase some residents could see, borough council adopted a pair of measures that can reduce some bills.

For the first time, residents can apply for the homestead exemption on Bridgeville Borough property taxes. Also, local volunteer firefighters will be eligible for a $300 tax credit on earned income tax.

Mayor Pasquale DeBlasio said the credit is a reward for the long hours volunteer firefighters put in for the borough.

“These people don't just put out fires. They train,” DeBlasio said.

Fire Chief William Chilleo said a volunteer firefighter must complete more than 180 hours of training just to be certified. After that, there still are several hours of monthly training and fundraising. Chilleo said they respond to about 200 calls every year.

“We've all missed those family things — Thanksgiving, Christmas, kids' birthdays,” he said.

The 2018 budget, millage rate and exemptions passed, 6-0. Council member Joe Verduci was absent.

Eric Eisert is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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