State College Council To Vote Monday On Budget, Proposed Tax Hike

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The average State College homeowner, with a property value of $200,000, would pay $7 more per month….

State College Borough Council will decide Monday whether to go along with one member’s last-minute push to avoid a tax increase in 2014.

Council is expected to vote Monday on a proposed budget that carries a property tax increase of 1.5 mills. But Councilman Jim Rosenberger suggested last week that he would make a motion instead to put off the increase and dig deeper into reserve funds to balance the spending plan.

Rosenberger said he hadn’t seen enough at a series of budget discussions to be convinced that the borough needs to raises taxes in 2014.

Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said that the budget could be modified to include no tax increase and still be passed Monday. Council wouldn’t have to start the process over or hold additional meetings.

Proposed York City Budget Has No Tax Increase, But Includes New Expenses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the second year in a row, York City is poised to approve a balanced budget that does not hike property taxes.

But there are some new expenses in Mayor Kim Bracey‘s 2014 proposal that the York City Council could target if council members want to trim the budget before approving it next week.

Most significant among them is the $550,000 pricetag on a new financial-management system. The city secured a grant from the state to cover $150,000 of that cost.

Business administrator Michael O’Rourke explained during a marathon budget hearing Wednesday that the city’s current system became obsolete years ago.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24706975/proposed-york-city-budget-has-no-tax-increase

Hazleton Passes Budget With A Cut In Property Tax

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — Not only did a council majority avoid layoffs and deferred paydays for city workers Thursday night, the majority also amended Mayor Joe Yannuzzi’s proposed budget to include a property tax decrease.

Yannuzzi had said he would have to lay off City Hall employees and have police, firefighters and road crews work without pay if council didn’t adopt a stormwater maintenance fee because he already included it as revenue in the 2014 budget. And he needed a balanced budget in order to secure a tax anticipation note — a bank loan to tide the city over until tax revenues start to come in the spring. The loan also would cover salary expenses through the end of 2013.

At a meeting filled with outbursts, shouting matches and arguments among council members, council voted 3-2 to adopt the maintenance fee on a sliding scale that depends on the size of a property owner’s lot and other factors. The owner of an average size lot will have to pay a $25 fee in 2014.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1035150/Hazleton-passes-budget-with-a-cut-in-property-tax

Wilkes-Barre In Better Financial Shape Than Last Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — More than halfway through the fiscal year the city is in better financial shape compared to the same period in 2012, officials said Friday.

Revenues are up by more than $7 million, largely because of a 25-mill property tax increase and the payment of 2012 wage taxes that had been delayed by problems at CENTAX, the former collection company.  As a result, there are no plans to furlough workers to make up for a revenue shortfall.

“There is no manufactured financial crisis by a collection mishap by a third-party vendor,” said Drew McLaughlin, the city’s municipal affairs manager.  “Revenue projections are holding steady so far, so we are very, very cautiously optimistic in terms of our financial position this year.”

Still, he cautioned things could change should the weather bring on an unpredictable expense caused by flooding from a tropical storm or snow in the winter.  “We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature there and we proceed cautiously,” he said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/759265/Wilkes-Barre-in-better-financial-shape-than-last-year

Reading School Board Makes Budget Progress

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slowly toiling away, looking at proposed cuts from every angle imaginable, the Reading School Board inched closer and closer to its members’ goal: a balanced budget they can live with.

Following the board’s voting meeting Wednesday night, members stuck around to pick through the administration’s latest proposed 2013-14 spending plan.

They reviewed a list of 18 cuts one by one, taking straw polls to find out which ones have support and which ones don’t.

And, with two days before they plan to vote on a final budget, they appeared to have finally made some big decisions.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=487596

Conrad Weiser OKs Tentative Budget With 0.54-Mill Tax Hike

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Conrad Weiser School Board approved its tentative 2013-14 budget Wednesday, but board members are considering lowering the proposed tax increase before the final vote in June.

The board voted 6-3 to approve the $42.7 million tentative budget with a 0.54-mill property tax increase, the maximum allowed under the state’s Act 1 index.

Board members Margaret G. Rumbaugh, Tammy Starner Wert and William T. Carl Jr. voted no, saying they preferred a 0.42-mill increase that would balance the budget but leave the district with a smaller financial cushion.

The 0.54-mill increase will generate about $110,000 more revenue than is needed to balance the budget, Director of Business Robin L. Robertson said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477499

Lackawanna County Eliminates Four More Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lackawanna County is eliminating four more positions, bringing to 28 the number of county jobs slashed over the past two months to help balance the 2013 budget.

Cutting the four positions will save $184,837 in salaries and benefits next year, according to figures provided by the commissioners’ office.

Chief of staff Maria Elkins said Thursday the latest cuts include the elimination of a secretary’s position in the Department of Human Resources, which will result in a layoff.

Two vacant positions will also be cut, effective at the end of the year, she said. They are an accountant position in the treasurer’s office and a clerk position in the clerk of judicial records office.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/lackawanna-county-eliminates-four-more-jobs-1.1422148

Scranton School Board Passes Budget With No Tax Increase

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scranton residents will see one tax bill stay the same for 2013.

The Scranton School Board on Thursday night unanimously approved a $120.4 million budget that calls for no tax increase.

With a city tax increase of about 25 percent and a 4 percent increase in Lackawanna County taxes, Scranton school directors said they wanted to give residents a break.

Directors had been looking at a tax increase of 1.35 percent, but with interest rates for tax anticipation notes coming in lower than expected, finding additional health care savings and using $1.18 million in capital improvement money to pay down debt, officials balanced the budget.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-school-board-passes-budget-with-no-tax-increase-1.1422154

Lancaster County Nearly Has Balanced Budget

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster County is only about $22,000 shy of balancing next year’s general fund budget, and officials expect to have that covered by Monday, when the entire $252.8 million spending plan is presented to the public.

The plan calls for departmental cuts of 2.75 percent, about $1.3 million in savings from a new high-deductible health insurance plan and a 9.3 percent tax increase — the first to be considered by the current board of commissioners.

The budget also includes raises of 2.75 percent for employees and doesn’t call for layoffs.

Maggie Weidinger, the county’s director of information technology and budget services, went over parts of the plan with the county commissioners on Thursday.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/790236_Lancaster-County-nearly-has-balanced-budget.html#ixzz2ENyYW43c

Reading Now Eyeing Bigger Increase In Property Taxes

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer’s administration said Monday that the Reading’s 2013 budget might need not only increases in the earned-income and commuter taxes but also a higher property tax hike: 20 percent instead of 15.

City Managing Director Carole B. Snyder said she doubts the city will need all three increases.

But she also said it’s better to get enabling ordinances ready now and cut them later if circumstances allow because the taxes can’t be raised later without starting the process over.

“We’re setting the stage, so we can get a balanced budget,” Snyder said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=422741

Williamsport Cuts 35 School Positions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILLIAMSPORT, PA – Thirty-five positions are eliminated under a $75.5 million budget approved by the Williamsport Area School Board for the next fiscal year.

The board also is increasing its property tax by .339 of a mill to balance the budget, approved by a 5-2 vote this week.

Faced with a multi-million dollar deficit due to decreased or flat state subsidies against rising personnel, insurance and pension costs, the board voted 6-1 to eliminate 15 teaching jobs and 20 support staff. Eight of the 45 took voluntary layoff. The layoffs are effective July 1.

“Everyone is not happy … for the number that we furloughed, but it could have been worse,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Kelley.

Read more: http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/539537/Williamsport-cuts-35-school-positions.html?nav=5009

Central Dauphin School District To Vote On Budget This Evening

The Central Dauphin School District is voting to approve their $154 million dollar budget this evening.  They are moving $919,000.00 from a health care reserve fund to balance the budget.  No tax increase is anticipated.  The possibility of some layoffs still exist.  That will be determined at the end of the summer.

The Central Dauphin School District is the 13th largest in the state and the largest school district in Dauphin County.  The district operates 2 high schools, 4 middle schools and 13 elementary schools.  Enrollment is 11,750 according to the district website.  The district employs 960 teachers and over 400 other staff members and administrators..

Pottstown School Board News

Mr. Hylton’s latest scheme was crushed at the voting meeting of the Pottstown School Board on Thursday evening.  Mr. Hylton’s plan to chop a huge number of support staff from the school district was opposed 6-3.  Even BFF Dennis Wausnock voted against Hylton’s slash and burn budget proposal.  Only Valerie Harris and Nat White voted to support Hylton BUT Ms. Harris said she wouldn’t necessarily vote for additional staff cuts.

Are you getting a clue yet Tom???  By now it should be starting to sink in that your “ideas” and “fixes” are unpopular to say the least.

Anybody ready to take back their vote for Hylton yet?

Evidently these “stunts” are what we have to look forward to during Mr. Hylton’s tenure on the school board.  Pretty soon it will be 8 – 1 opposed.  His friends are fading fast.