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Shaler's preliminary budget shows no tax hike

| Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, 7:57 p.m.

Shaler Township residents will not pay increased property taxes next year, according to a preliminary budget presented during a Nov. 14 commissioners meeting.

“The township management is pleased to present the township board of commissioners a balanced budget for the year 2018,” said Township Manager Tim Rogers.

The tax rate will remain unchanged at 2.49 mills. A Shaler resident owning a property assessed at $150,000 would owe $374 in taxes yearly.

The budget allocates $800,000 for the continued construction of the township's sanitary sewer system; residents would not see an increase in sanitary sewer fees. Similarly, Rogers reported that, given the Hampton Shaler Water Authority's balanced budget, residents should not expect to see rate changes from the water provider.

Property tax revenues account for $4.1 million, earned income taxes and deed transfers, $4.5 million; franchise fees for cable television and garbage collection, $680,000; and miscellaneous income, $1.2 million, Rogers said.

Expenditures are $300,000 less than in 2017 at $12,680,000. Expenses include two police vehicles, a public works vehicle and community events funding.

Rogers noted two areas that concern him regarding the budget. First, $5.3 million in public safety costs exceed those in property taxes.

“We like to have a relationship with the property tax and public safety (costs),” he said. “In fact, the only time in my 25 years that we raised taxes was to bring that number in coordination with each other.”

“The other thing that jumps out at the budget — there are engineering cost increases due to requirements from the (state) Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the (U.S.) EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). … We are now required to have a pollution reduction plan, change our MS4 and comply with sanitary sewer requirements.”

An MS4 is a system of storm drains, pipes or ditches designed to collect or convey stormwater, according to a presentation Matt Sebastian, township engineer, gave earlier this year.

The commissioners will vote on the budget following a public hearing set for 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Shaler Township Municipal Building, 300 Wetzel Road, Glenshaw.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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