Assembly approves FY 2013-14 budget, tax increase
The Petersburg Borough Assembly passed Ordinance 2013-8 adopting the budget setting the millage rate for the fiscal year 2013-14 in its second reading during its regular meeting Monday evening with a few changes.
In the first reading of this ordinance, the total estimated mill rate within the ordinance to support the budget was set at 11.00 and that was including the first time mill levy for the new library debt and was based on the total assessed value of real property within service area 1 being $298,411,100. The mill rate for fiscal year 2012-13 was 10.99 and was based on $288,007,000 of gross property values.
“There are new numbers that were calculated and have been added to the ordinance for this reading,” Petersburg Borough Finance Director Jody Tow stated. “The total assessed value for all real property within service area 1 is actually $294,744,900 instead of $298,411,100 as of Jan. 1, 2013.”
According to Tow, this is an increase of $7.6 million from last year and this will change the mill rate to 11.14 mills.
Other areas in which these changes will occur is in the general purposes section that will change from 4.42 mills to 4.5; schools will change from 4.3 mills to 4.34; the aquatic center will go from .75 mills to .77; the total GO bond debt retirement will change from 2.28 mills to 2.3 for a total of 11.14.
“Unless there are any additional changes in the budget these are the numbers regarding the mill rate for the fiscal year budget,” Tow said.
Assembly members recommended changes to the proposed budget Monday evening.
“I believe that the staff did a great job on the budget but I cannot vote for an increase in the budget,” Petersburg Borough Assembly member John Havrilek said. “I can't, in good conscience approve an increase in the mill rate.”
According to Havrilek, he doesn't feel that the Borough should be paying for some services that are not being completely provided for and the Borough just can't afford some of them any longer.
“In the very least, I would like to keep the mill rate at 10.99 but I would like to see it go lower than that,” Havrilek stated. “Times are tough and we need to start making some reductions in services and I would like to see a decrease in the budget by three percent across the board.”
This reading was passed by the Assembly with a vote of six to one with member Havrilek opposed.