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Sewickley Council Approves Tentative Budget

The proposal does not include a tax increase for 2012.

has adopted a $4.8 million tentative budget for 2012 that does not include a tax increase.

Council is scheduled to formally adopt the proposal at a meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.

If the budget is approved, the borough’s total property tax rate would at 7.3 mills, which means the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 next year would pay $730 in real estate taxes, unchanged from this year.

Sewickley Manager Kevin Flannery and other borough staff began preparing the tentative budget in July and approved the proposal Oct. 22. In his annual budget address, Flannery said the proposal has a 1.1 percent decrease in expenditures, while still maintaining services to residents at the current level and joint municipal service arrangements.

Borough officials had several unknowns to keep in mind while crafting the budget. In a normal year, Flannery said, Allegheny County would mail out tax bills in January; the borough in March; and the in July.

But based on , Flannery believes assessed valuations won’t be known until May or June, causing all three taxing districts to send out bills within 30 days of each other.

“This would be extremely unfair to the real estate taxpayer,” Flannery said.

He recommended issuing tax bills on March 1 that reflect 2011 assessed values except in the case of property appeals or settlement changes.

If tax bills are delayed until midyear, Flannery said, the borough would need to borrow $1.5 million to $2 million to continue operating, which could involve paying a higher interest rate. On top of everything else, changes in procedures for collecting earned income tax, or Act 32, take effect Jan. 1 and could leave the borough short on tax revenue and further reduce cash flow.

“I have a real ethical dilemma in trying to recommend a financial picture of revenues based upon a number that may not be available for two months, four months or seven months ...,” Flannery wrote.

A copy is available for review from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday in the borough secretary’s office, online at sewickleyborough.org or here on Patch.

 

2012 Expenditures:

General Government   

  $1,105,219  

Public Safety

  $1,809,777

Road Program

  $620,000

Public Works

  $1,096,910

Culture and Recreation  

  $172,997

Other Uses

  $4,000

  • Sewer fund total: $1,652,226
  • Road construction and maintenance fund total: $910,914.

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