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No tax hike in Coaldale

Published November 14. 2012 05:01PM

Coaldale property owners will likely get an early Christmas gift this year: No tax increase.

Borough Councilwoman Nancy Lorchak, who heads the Finance Committee, announced the proposal at a public meeting Tuesday.

"There will be no millage increase," she said.

Council expects to approve a preliminary budget, the details of which have yet to be released, when it meets on Dec. 11. The proposed budget will be posted at the borough offices, at 221 3rd St., for at least 10 days before that.

That means the property tax would stay at 25.04 mills. At that rate, the owner of a property assessed for taxes at $25,000 would continue to pay $626.

In February, council adopted this year's $1,686,175 spending plan, which came with a 2.4 mill tax increase and the loss of five full-time borough employees, including the town's three police officers.

Council members and the mayor forfeited their monthly stipend $75 for the council members and $50 for the mayor.

Council on Tuesday again agreed to give up the pay, but by a split vote. With President Susan Solt and Councilman Steve Tentylo absent, Lorchak, Thomas Keerans and David Yelito agreed to forego their stipends. The mayor has also agreed to forgo his stipend.

Councilmen Joseph Hnat and Mike Doerr were opposed.

"No. Definitely not," Hnat said.

In other budget news, council learned that its workers' compensation premiums have soared by $30,000 since 2009, bringing the annual bill to $54,230 for 2012-2013.

Other insurances showed more modest increases. Property insurance has risen by $1,077 (from $4,768 to $5,845); liability insurance went up by $1,111 (from $12,805 to $13,916).

Borough secretary-treasurer Louise Lill said that the workers' compensation premium should start to come back down if the borough does not file any claims over the next three years.

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