Taxes holding steady in several South Hills communities
Real estate taxes will remain the same in 2019 for residents living in several South Hills communities including Pleasant Hills, Jefferson Hills and Whitehall.
Here’s a look at how each budget breaks down:
Pleasant Hills will continue to hold its property tax rate at 6.75 mills for 2019.
The budget includes $8.8 million in the general fund, $2.9 million in the sewer and solid waste fund and $270,000 in highway aid funds.
The borough has several sewer projects planned. On East Bruceton Road, from the borough building toward Route 51, a $450,000 storm sewer repair project will be completed, council President Dan Soltesz said. The project will include lining a 60-inch pipe to extend its life.
On Arbor Lane, two projects — a $199,000 sanitary system repair and a $217,000 storm sewer repair — will help remediate flooding. The borough received a $100,000 grant from state gaming revenues to help offset the cost of the storm sewer project, Soltesz said.
“We really just want to get a jump on it,” he said.
A sewage pump station also will be replaced on Tassel Lane for $536,000. The borough received a Department of Community and Economic Development Small Water and Sewer Grant for about $393,000 of the project.
Pleasant Hills increased funding to the public library from $158,238 in 2018 to $163,000 in 2019.
The borough also will replace and relocate a storage shed at Mowry Park. A shed now is located between two fields. The borough will build a storage shed instead on the rear basketball courts, which Soltesz said are “rarely used.”
While this will lead to the closure of the courts, Soltesz noted the borough still has courts at the borough building and Boulevard Park.
Jefferson Hills 2019 real estate tax rate is staying at 5.66 mills.
The borough’s 2019 budget includes $10.3 million in the general fund and $4.2 million in the sewer fund.
In 2019, Jefferson Hills put an extra $100,000 toward its paving program, taking the total for the year to $815,000, interim manager Charles Bennett said.
The borough also plans to install a concession stand with restroom facilities and storage at Beedle Park, utilizing a $100,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources. The borough likely will contribute between $200,000 and $250,000 to the project.
Jefferson Hills also increased its contribution to its public library in 2019 by $10,000 — going from $185,000 in 2018 to $195,000 in 2019.
Borough leaders anticipate keeping property taxes at 4.42 mills in 2019.
Whitehall council waits until the previous year’s assessment numbers are received prior to setting a real estate tax rate.
A budget vote likely will occur in February, borough Manager James Leventry said. Changes to the millage only would be needed if assessment numbers dropped, which is not anticipated, he said.
Whitehall’s 2019 budget includes $11 million in expenditures and allows for drawing $1.5 million from the fund balance. However, Leventry said, leaders anticipate “only a fraction of that” will be taken from the fund balance, looking at the borough’s track record for the last several years.
The borough had $4.4 million in its fund balance, as of November.
The borough’s sanitary sewer fund has a $5.2 million in expenditures and calls for using about $600,000 from the fund balance, if all projects are completed, Leventry said.
The borough’s storm sewer fund has about $1.2 million in expenditures. If all projects are completed, about $480,000 of that will come from the general fund.
The largest project in Whitehall this year will be the building of a salt dome adjacent to the Public Works building, Leventry said. Salt previously had been stored in two storage garages.
The anticipated cost of the project is $600,000, which will be funded using $450,000 from the borough’s liquid fuels fund.
The borough also has a $500,000 storm sewer repair project planned on Streets Run Road near the intersection of Roberta Drive in an effort to eliminate flooding. Ground likely will be broken on the four- to five-month project in the fall, Leventry said.
Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.