Hazleton Council OKs $9.28M Spending Plan

Property taxes will not increase in Hazleton in 2015, according to a tentative $9.28 million spending plan that city council approved Wednesday.

But it will cost more to sell a property.

Council approved on second reading a balanced, $9.28 million budget that eliminates a tax increase that the mayor wanted to implement for awarding raises to a handful of nonunion employees. The budget also scraps a controversial maintenance fee for the stormwater system.

The spending plan approved Wednesday makes up for that lost tax and stormwater revenue by infusing $400,000 from a defunct sewage transmission fee account into other parts of the general fund budget. The city’s share of the real estate transfer tax was also increased by 0.5 percent — to 1 percent — and boosts revenue projections by $150,000.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/hazleton-council-oks-9-28m-spending-plan-1.1804580

$9.3 Million Hazleton Budget Breakdown

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A $9.3 million budget proposal prepared by administrators in Hazleton for the upcoming year was developed to more accurately reflect costs incurred in 2013 rather than keep pace with competing budgets submitted this year by the mayor and council, a top city administrator said.

Acting City Administrator Tom Pribula said he looked beyond a year-long budget dispute between the mayor and council and instead focused on 2013 actual expenses when developing a budget for 2015.

“I would say it’s a pretty reasonable budget,” Pribula said of the 2015 proposal. “I would not categorize any fluff, per se, that’s in it. My philosophy from doing budgets for 30-some years is be realistic to the conservative side on your revenues. You don’t want to over-estimate because if you don’t get them, then you don’t have the cash.”

While examining budget trends from previous years, Pribula found that some line item reductions that council and the mayor presented in competing budgets for 2014 weren’t in line with actual expenditures.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/9-3-million-hazleton-budget-breakdown-1.1785654