2-mill tax hike possible in Summit Hill
Although Summit Hill Borough Council has just begun working on its 2010 budget, it appears there potentially could be a 2-mill tax increase.
Councilman John O'Gurek said he is hoping the budget can be shaved without having to raise taxes, stating, "Everybody realizes we raised taxes last year for the building project and to make things work. We're not going to do it again this year."
Council members said they had anticipated a 1/2 mill increase this year for the building project because, when planning for the new borough hall and firehouse began in 2004, they realized they would need 3 mills to pay for the financing of it.
In 2004, a 2-mill increase occurred which was placed in a separate fund or the project. Last year, a half- mill hike was approved. A half mill increase this year would likely be the final tax hike needed.
One-and-a-half mills of taxes may be needed to cover various other budget shortages.
Currently, the municipal tax rate is 12.1 mills for real estate.
Councilman Mike Kokinda said the borough is likely to run out of funds before the end of this year, making it likely a tax anticipation loan will be needed to get the borough through April, when tax payments begin arriving.
He said, "Looking at the bottom line, we have $50,000 to last until April. That isn't going to make it to April. That won't make it through December."
Two major expense increases for 2010 are health insurance for employees and electricity.
In 2009, there was $67,689.96 budgeted for health insurance, with $76,768.17 already paid in premiums.
Borough treasurer Kira Maholick said based on 2010 rates, the borough will be paying $99,205.92 for health insurance next year.
Electric rates are expected to increase by about 30 percent in 2010, giving an estimated cost of about $20,000 more than was paid in 2009.
Council members said they will continue meeting to determine what financial cuts can occur to possibly whittle away at the tax increase.
Another budget meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in the borough hall.