Boro Budget Calls For No Tax Increase
McConnellsburg Borough Council adopted a tentative 2012 budget last Wednesday evening that, once again, calls for no tax increases for borough residents. On a David Washabaugh/Jim Smith motion, council voted unanimously to accept a proposed budget that calls for taxes of 5 mills on real estate in the borough, occupation taxes at 20 mills and a $5 per-capita tax. Borough taxpayers also pay a one-half percent real estate transfer tax and a one-half percent wage tax.
In 2008, council voted to cut real estate taxes for 2009 from 7 mills to 5 mills based on its decision to disband the borough police department effective December 31, 2008. That vote made good on a promise that council had made to its citizens earlier to return a portion of the tax dollars saved by abolishing the police force. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, taxes remained the same as well. One mill of taxes in the borough yields about $25,000 to the borough’s coffers.
Borough Council members unanimously agreed they would not raise any taxes in 2012, even though spending is expected to be slightly higher than in 2011. The borough’s proposed 2012 budget plans for expenditures of $257,862 to be offset by revenues of approximately $410,674.
Expenditures are projected to be higher than estimated 2011 expenditures
($246,903)) by about 4 percent due largely to an anticipated increase in street repairs.
The proposed budget projects spending of $118,099 in the general government category, a 10 percent decrease over projected 2011 expenditures ($131,835) in that category. The decrease is due largely to an expected decrease in legal expenses. Council members agreed to make an annual contribution of $250 to the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, and donations to the library and to the Parks and Recreation Commission of $1,000 and $2,000, respectively.
Protection of persons and property
In the total protection category, the proposed budget sets spending at $10,366, a decrease of approximately $15,188 or 85 percent from expected 2011 expenditures of $25,554. The decrease is due to fact that health insurance expenses negotiated when the police contract ended and the department was abolished will end in 2011, resulting in an $18,000 savings in 2012.
Fire, water & contributions
The budget proposed sets expenses in this category at $22,896, just slightly more than anticipated spending of $21,610 in 2011. Only a slight increase is expected in trash collection for bulky item day.
A marked increase in expected street construction and street re- pairs in 2012 is the main reason for an increase in this line item this year. Although council expects to spend about $15,000 in street repairs next year, actual street repairs are set for about $2,355 in 2011. Only $1,500 was spent on street construction in 2011, but street construction for 2012 is budgeted at $20,000. Snow removal for 2012 is budgeted at $10,000, which is more than actual expenditures of $3,404 during 2011. Overall, council projects spending of $106,500 in the highways portion of the budget, a significant increase over expected expenditures of $67,904 in that category for 2011. REVENUES
On the revenue side of the budget, council expects to collect $136,676 in real estate, occupation and per-capita taxes and $122,516 from miscellaneous sources, including wage taxes, TV cable commission, parking meters and fines. Total receipts of $410,674 expected for 2012 are up significantly from 2011 anticipated receipts of $398,385. This is due to expected increases in real estate taxes and return on investments.
The borough expects to end 2012 with a balance of $152,813, up slightly from this year’s expected ending balance of $150,992.
The proposed budget will be open for inspection for 30 days. Council must adopt a final 2012 budget at its December meeting. After the 30-day review period, council may make changes to the budget but may not increase taxes set last Wednesday.