Budget News

UNION CITY — Residents of the borough of Union City may see an increase in property taxes, as Union City Borough Council continues to work on its 2017 proposed budget. 

After Tuesday night’s work session, Council members are considering a 1 mill increase in property tax, bringing the borough’s millage rate from 7.06 to 8.06 mills. 

This means that a house with an estimated value of $100,000 would see an additional $100 added to their 2017 tax bill. 

Residents can estimate their upcoming tax bill by multiplying their home’s assessed value by 0.00806. 

“Theoretically this is our fourth or fifth rate increase since the early 2000s,” said Dan Brumagin, vice president of Union City Borough Council. “If there were a time to do a rate increase, now would be the time to do it.”

Union City Borough Council raised the millage rate from 5.5 mills up to 7 mills in 2012. 

The millage was reassessed in 2012 and the rate was brought down to 6.06 mills in 2013 and 2014.

Council raised the millage rate up to 7.06 mills, its current rate, in 2015. 

“No rate increase is not a realistic option,” Brumagin said. 

Councilman Phil Conklin added the borough needs to find a way to add value to its millage rate.

“We need to add value to make our millage worth more,” he said. “I’m not completely comfortable with raising it, I’d like to find a way not to.”

With the increase in property taxes, the borough of Union City would have about $1,251,140 in proposed revenue for 2017. 

At the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting, the borough’s proposed expenditures totaled $1,414,385.56. 

The proposed expenditures were broken down into six categories. 

They are:

• Administration — $159,280

• Public Safety — $313,647

• Public Works — $732,757.56

• Finance — $181,110

• Parks and Recreation — $15,762

• Personnel & Planning — $11,829

Council worked throughout the night to cut these expenses where they could. 

One of the biggest expenses cut from the proposed budget was the purchase of a new street sweeper. 

This eliminated $50,850 from the 2017 budget. The cost of the street sweeper would have been about $225,000 over five years at a 13-percent interest rate. 

Another cut from the proposed budget was a reduction in the first phase of the Route 97 storm sewer project. 

The original line item was slated to be $65,000, but Council reduced it to $25,000. 

Another $18,000 was removed from the public works section of the proposed budget. That money was originally slated for a new salt shed. 

The purchase of a new police vehicle was taken out of the proposed budget, but Council still plans on purchasing the vehicle with money from its capital reserve funds. 

“We really need to buy a cruiser,” Brumagin said. “There’s no way around that.”

Union City Borough Council will be casting its final vote on the 2017 proposed budget during a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be at the Borough Building, 13 S. Main St., Union City.

Residents can view a copy of the proposed budget at the borough building. 

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