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North Hills

Ross proposed budget keeps millage at 2.7

Tony LaRussa
| Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Ross Township's 2018 proposed budget provides funding for the municipality to continue its aggressive infrastructure improvement program while at the same time keeping the real estate tax at its current rate.

The $21.3 million spending plan is more than $2.43 million over this year's budget to cover, among other things, a 9.5-percent increase in pension obligations; a 14.6-percent hike in contracted personnel costs; and a 14.6-percent rise in spending for infrastructure improvements, according the preliminary budget projections.

A vote on the budget was expected to take place at the board's Dec. 4 meeting.

If approved, the 2.7 mill real estate tax rate will remain unchanged for the third consecutive year, which means property owners will continue to pay $2.70 for every $1,000 of assessed value on their properties.

The median assessed value for a home in Ross is $132,500.

“We're really pleased to be able to hold the line on taxes once again while at the same time budgeting a significant amount of money to invest in our infrastructure,” said Jeremy Shaffer, president of the board of commissioners.

This year's budget included about $2 million for paving, which was enough to pave about 8.5 miles of the 120 miles of roads for which the municipality is responsible. Ross spent about $1.3 million on road paving in 2016.

Next year's budget earmarks about $1.5 million for paving plus another $800,000 to replace the Hillcrest and Brookview bridges.

Officials anticipate collecting about $6.78 million in property taxes next year, which is the single largest source of revenue for the township.

The earned income tax is expected to generate about $4.75 million for the township with another $3.87 million coming in from half a dozen other business-related taxes.

Licenses, fees and other non-tax revenue account for an additional $2.5 million in next year's budget.

The public works department will receive the largest budget increase in the township — 13.97 percent more than this year. The increase will be used primarily for large-scale storm sewer improvements.

Other major projects and purchases planned for next year include $400,000 for improvements at Denny Park, which includes about $200,000 in state grants; and another $70,000 to replace play equipment in neighborhood parks.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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