Ross OKs 2020 budget with same tax rate for 5th consecutive year - North Journal

Ross OKs 2020 budget with same tax rate for 5th consecutive year

Friday, December 13, 2019 | 3:08 PM

Ross Township has approved a budget for 2020 that keeps property taxes at the same rate for the fifth consecutive year while earmarking significant spending for road repairs, park improvements, stormwater control and public safety.

The nearly $23.44 million general fund budget allocates more than $1.52 million for road improvement projects; nearly $533,000 for upgrades to Denny, Evergreen, Seville and Sangree parks; $300,000 for stormwater projects on Girty’s Run and other locations; and $75,000 for police body cameras.

The property tax rate will stand at 2.7 mills, which means the owner of a home at the township’s median value of $132,900 will pay $358.83 next year to fund township operations.

Commissioners approved the budget by an 8-1 margin, with Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer dissenting.

The largest source of revenue for the township is the tax on real estate, which accounts for 30 percent of the municipality’s annual income.

Next year the tax is expected to generate $7.05 million, or 1.44% more than 2019.

The 1% tax on wages will fund 22% of next year’s budget and bring in an estimated $5.13 million, which is up 5.67% over this year.

Another 17% of the budget will be funded by the mercantile, local services, business privilege, real estate transfer, sales and other taxes, which are estimated to generate nearly $4.06 million.

The remaining 31% of the budget includes more than $3.17 million left over from this year as well as income generated from licenses, permits, fines and other sources.

Next year’s budget allocates nearly $8.9 million for public safety, which includes police, fire and emergency management services as well as school crossing guards. Public safety is the largest expense for the township, accounting for 43% of next year’s budget.

The township’s second largest expense is for the public works department, which is budgeted to receive about $5.79 million next year.

Public works is responsible for road and building repairs, snow removal and the maintenance of storm sewers, traffic controls, lighting and vehicles.

Other significant expenses include:

• General government operations: $1.58 million

• Pensions payments: $1.09 million

• Community development: $880,000

• Debt service: $655,878

• Recreation: $646,432

• Library contribution: $525,841