Budget News

UNION CITY — Union City Borough Council unanimously approved the borough’s 2017 budget and a property tax increase of 1 mill.

After working to cut about $200,000 from the budget over the past month, Council agreed to raising taxes from the current rate of 7.06 mills up 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. 

The 2017 budget shows a total of $1,257,757.80 in proposed revenue for the borough and expenses totaling $1,252,101.56. This leaves the borough with an unexpended $5,656.24. 

“We removed all the improvements to the city building except for the air conditioning, the heat and the electrical wiring,” said Cindy Wells, borough secretary. “So I removed all improvements to the city building and improvements to the police department.” 

The proposed expenditures are broken down into six categories. They are:

• Administration — $146,349

• Public Safety — $296,062

• Public Works — $604,006.56

• Finance — $178,093

• Parks and Recreation — $15,762

• Personnel & Planning — $11,829

“Originally, I wasn’t happy with the tax raise,” said UC Borough Council President Braden McCrillis. 

Council agreed they were not happy about having to raise taxes, but they felt it was necessary.

“We hacked and hacked from this budget,” said Dan Brumagin, vice president of Union City Borough Council. “We cut thousands of dollars and with the rate increase we’ll be able to balance it.” 

Brumagin added he feels that next year, when drafting the 2018 budget, Council may be able to lower taxes. 

“I’d like to say that we all know we weren’t happy about having to raise tax rates, especially now,” he said. “After this next year, depending where are finances are and if we’re sitting well financially, we will need to consider a decrease of some kind.”

Councilman Dan Hoban agreed a future decrease in taxes would be nice for the residents. 

“By this time next year, fiscally, we’ll know if we are operating correctly,” Hoban said. “I think it’d be really nice for the community if we try to give even a quarter of a mill back to them. We aren’t here to try to make money.” 

Councilman Phil Conklin Jr. agreed that once the borough recovers from former Union City Borough manager, secretary and treasurer Cheryl Capela stealing more than $150,000 in borough funds, taxes could be lowered. 

“There’s no reason once we recover that we can’t decrease it,” Conklin said.  

A motion to approve the 2017 Union City Budget was made by Brumagin and seconded by Councilman Dustin Kolaja. It was unanimously approved by Council.

A motion to approve the ordinance to raise the borough’s property tax rate to 8.06 mills was made by Conklin. It was seconded by Kolaja and unanimously approved by Council. 

Residents can view a copy of the budget at the borough building, 13 S. Main St.

In other Union City Borough Council news, the 2017 schedule for Council meetings has been established. Next year, Council will meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. All meetings will be held at the Union City Fire Department Social Hall, 50 Second Ave., Union City. 

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