ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Unity looks to reinstate per capita tax

Jeff Himler
| Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, 6:21 p.m.
The Unity Township Municipal Building is seen at twilight after a snowstorm on Dec. 14, 2017.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
The Unity Township Municipal Building is seen at twilight after a snowstorm on Dec. 14, 2017.

Unity supervisors are looking to reinstate the township's $5 per capita tax a year after the board eliminated it.

The supervisors Thursday authorized advertising an ordinance that would put the levy back in place in time for August tax notices.

Supervisors Chairman John Mylant said the restored tax should generate about $58,000 annually, which the township wants to tap to help update its municipal building on Beatty County Road.

According to Mylant, improvements likely will be pursued gradually, with climate control the initial priority.

“The first thing we've got to get is a new furnace and air conditioning,” he said, noting the existing heating and cooling systems date from the mid-1970s and are no longer adequate.

“We're not going to be able to survive another winter with the furnace,” he said. “We have space heaters, so we're getting by this year.”

The building's rubber roof also is overdue for replacement, Mylant said.

Unity residents also pay a $10 per capita tax to the Greater Latrobe School District.

When the supervisors voted to eliminate its $5 tax late in 2016, former board member Michael O'Barto termed it a “nuisance tax” and noted Unity relies more heavily on revenue generated through a 1 percent wage tax assessed jointly by the township and the school district.

To help eight local volunteer fire companies meet rising expenses, the supervisors agreed to increase Unity's fire tax from 1 mill to 2 mills — a hike that is expected to add about $20 to the average township property owner's bill.

Mylant said the supervisors are anticipating the arrival next week of the first two of seven large trucks the township has ordered to replace vehicles lost in a Sept. 24 arson that destroyed Unity's public works building. The fire remains under investigation.

Until the replacement trucks arrive, township road crews have been using ones loaned by neighboring municipalities to take care of winter snow removal.

“The crew is making everything work out there,” said Mylant.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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.

click me