Polk Township could have tax increase in 2014
Polk Township supervisors are still working on the 2014 proposed budget.
"No one wants to hear about taxes being raised. But we're kicking it around," Supervisor Chairman Brian Ahner said at Monday night's supervisors' meeting.
There has been no tax increase in Polk taxes since 2005. It has been at 3.3 mills for the last eight years.
Currently the amount of tax money Polk receives is $219,296. If the township adds 1 mill, it will realize an increase to $285,749. At a 1.5 mill increase, it will realize $318,976 and a 2 mill increase will realize $352,202.
A home assessed at $20,670, at the current 3.3 mills, a homeowner pays $68.21 in township taxes. An increase of 1 mill would be $88.88; a 1.5 mill-increase, $99.22; a 2 mill increase would be a payment of $109.55.
Ahner compared Polk's millage to that of Chestnuthill which is at 5.2 mills and Eldred Township's at 9.5 mills.
Costs of improving township roads is one of the major reasons Ahner cited for an increase. He said some roads need paving and they have to keep putting it off because there isn't enough money to do them.
"With the new tax on gas, hopefully some of that money will trickle down to us to use it on our roads," he said.
He wanted Polk residents to know that they do get a lot for the township tax.
"They get their roads plowed, brush cut, roads paved and lines painted."
The meeting ended with no decision having been made.
The township solicitor, James Fareri was not at the meeting so there will be a special meeting scheduled, which will be advertised, where the supervisors will make a decision about the tax millage.
Zoning/Codes officer Gerald Zurat said that the township issued 27 permits, 14 inspections, five permits pending, three new homes and the township received four complaints, for the month of November.
There may be some zoning, sewage and building fee changes for 2014. Zurat said the code may be restructured. Minor zoning fee increases could be $5 more for most permits and an increase for fencing. A zoning board hearing could go from $300 to $325.
"Unfortunately, the largest increase would be for sewage permits. In 2013 it was $1,000. In 2014 it could be $1,135. And that would be just to break even."
The board agreed to table this issue until they have had more time to study it.
Ahner said the supervisors are considering keeping the recycling fees the same for 2014 but do away with Clean Up Days, which have been held twice a year. According to Ahner, Clean Up Days has become overwhelming.
"It's like people store up large items like sofas, furniture and mattresses, and bring them on those days."
They are considering accepting these types of items all year long, but there would be a minimal fee to do so.
One resident, Mark Tretter was surprised. "A lot of people like Clean Up Days. It was a good thing for the people," he said.
Ahner said that he believes the service was being abused and some people brought in U-Haul truck loads of items.
Prices for recycling have gone down and all the township wants to do is break even.
Polk Township Vol. Fire Co.'s Chief Billy Tippet reported that it responded to 16 calls in November. He also thanked the supervisors and township secretary Ruthanne Toner, for help in applying for a FEMA grant. They received $1,300.
• Wednesday solid waste permit holders may use the waste facility on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. The center will be closed because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
• Rick Courtright was approved as an alternate member for the planning commission.
• Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.