Bradford Woods proposing first tax hike since 2015, rate could jump by 36% - North Journal

Bradford Woods proposing first tax hike since 2015, rate could jump by 36%

Monday, November 25, 2019 | 3:35 PM

For the first time in five years, Bradford Woods residents could receive a tax hike to help cover increases in road construction costs and borough operations, officials announced.

And if it’s approved, the tax increase won’t be a small one.

To generate more income, the proposed budget calls for raising the property tax rate next year from 2.483 mills to 3.375 mills, an increase of 35.9%.

The $937,121 proposed spending plan for 2020, which is $131,121 or 16.3% higher than this year’s budget, anticipates $477,325 in revenue from property taxes, which is the largest source of revenue for the borough.

The second largest revenue generator is the earned income tax, which is expected to bring in about $310,000 in 2020.

If approved, the tax bill for the owner of an average home in the borough, which is $241,350 according to the Allegheny County Assessment Office, will pay an additional $215 in property taxes to fund borough operations and services.

Under the new rate, the total tax bill from the borough for an average home will be $841.56.

This year, Bradford Woods had the lowest property-tax rate of any borough in Allegheny County.

The last time the borough raised taxes was in 2015 to help pay for increases in the cost of road construction, according to Natalie Theiss, the borough manager.

“Whenever we speak to residents about the things they want the borough to do, better roads are always a priority,” Theiss said.

Next year’s budget earmarks $275,000 for road construction projects, which is the borough’s single largest expenditure.

The increase in revenue from the tax increase will help replace funds that have been diverted from the road construction budget to pay for improvements to the borough’s stormwater management system that were mandated in 2016 by new federal and state regulations, Theiss said.

This year $263,700 was budgeted for road work.

The second largest expenditure is $200,342 for police protection from the Northern Regional Police Department, which patrols the borough as well as Pine, Marshall and Richland townships.

The borough also is budgeting about $40,000 to buy a new truck next year and another $38,500 to help pay for mandated stormwater control work.

Council is expected to vote Dec. 9 on whether to approve the budget.