North Huntingdon officials plan to tap the township’s federal covid relief fund allocation to help balance the municipality’s preliminary budget of $14.7 million for 2023 without raising real estate taxes.
The township commissioners are likely to adopt a preliminary budget at the board’s meeting
on Wednesday that will hold the line on real estate taxes at 11.55 mills.
Of that tax rate, the revenue from 9.23 mils will be allocated to the general fund, one mill will go toward the capital reserve fund and 1.32 mills will be devoted to for the fire service fund.
The proposed general fund
expenditures is about 1% more than this year, according to the budget Harry Faulk, township manager, presented to the board on Nov. 10.
With the addition of the special funds — street light, water, fire services, parks, state liquid fuels and capital — the township is projected to spend $17.06 million next year, Faulk said.
The budget is balanced without a tax hike by taking $859,000 from its allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds, which it is permitted to do, Faulk said.
North Huntingdon received a $3.17 million allocation in covid debt relief funding that Congress passed and President Biden signed.
In a budget message, Faulk stated that “it remains challenging to meet the high level of service our community deserves and appreciates.”
The commissioners are expected to approve advertising
the budget at its meeting Wednesday.
None of the commissioners at the board workshop meeting last week objected to the budget.
By holding the line on property taxes, real estate taxes for the homeowner whose property is assessed at the township’s median value of about $20,000, would pay about $190 in real estate taxes for the township’s general fund expenditures, Faulk said.
Among expenditures planned for 2023 is $5.8 million for the police department, which is budgeted for 30 officers and six communication specialists.
The township will allocate $3.1 million to the public works department.
The township’s seven fire departments will receive an equal allocation of about $75,000.
Faulk calculated that it cost each of the township’s 31,757 residents about $464 to support the various government services that North Huntingdon maintains and the employees.
Looking toward future costs, Faulk stated in his prepared budget analysis that the comprehensive plan being developed identified several major projects that would cost about $1.1 million, but the projects are not part of any of the township funds.
“These projects will be designed and shovel ready so that grant money can be sought,” Faulk stated.
Read More: North Huntingdon plans 2023 budget that keeps taxes the same