Strong revenue projections for 2020 allow McCandless to keep tax rate unchanged - North Journal

Strong revenue projections for 2020 allow McCandless to keep tax rate unchanged

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Strong anticipated revenue next year from wage, business and real-estate transfer taxes will allow McCandless to keep its already low property-tax rate unchanged.

The nearly $17.4 million general fund budget for 2020 is about $1.4 million lower than this year’s spending plan because anticipated money from grants — and line items for what they would be spent on — have been eliminated.

“This is due to a purposeful decision not to show grant revenue when there has been no confirmation of receipt (of the money),” Manager Robert Grimm wrote in his budget address to town council.

The 1.236-mill real estate tax rate means property owners in McCandless will continue to pay a little less than $1.24 for every $1,000 of assessed property value, or $248 a year for a home valued at $200,000 to fund municipal operations and services.

All other taxes also will be levied at the same rate next year.

This year, McCandless had the second lowest property tax rate in Allegheny behind Franklin Park and Pine Township.

The property tax is expected to generate nearly $3.23 million next year, which reflects a 1-percent increase in the assessed value of property in McCandless, according to Grimm.

The largest source of revenue for the town is the 0.5 percent tax on earned income, which is expected to generate more than $6 million next year.

The business privilege and real estate transfer taxes are each expected to generate about $1.35 million.

Other major sources of income include $715,000 from the Local Services Tax and $465,000 from the town’s share of the additional sales tax imposed on Allegheny County residents.

The town also will get $441,000 from the state for pension contributions and another $410,000 from the annual cable franchise fee that is collected.

The town’s share of the state gasoline tax, which must be used for road repairs, will be about $894,500 in 2020.

Non-union municipal employees will receive annual pay increases of 3 percent, which is the same raise negotiated for the town’s unionized workers.

As in previous years, the largest expenditure for the town is for the police department, which is budgeted to receive a little more than $5.98 million.

Among the largest expenditures planned for next year is the town’s street paving program, which is earmarked to receive about $2.1 million next year.

Improvements at town hall, including upgrades to the heating and air conditioning system and increased security measures, are estimated to cost about $250,000.

The town also expects to receive three grants totalling about $1 million that will be used for connectivity projects that include sidewalks and walking trails. Some of the grant money also will include planned improvements to Wall Park.

The town will spend about 847,000 next year for snow and ice removal. Another $100,000 is expected to go for projects aimed at reducing problems caused by storm water.

Council is expected to vote on whether to adopt the budget at its Dec. 16 business meeting.