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Plum Council Holds the Line on Taxes

Plum residents won't have to pay more real estate taxes in 2012.

Plum Borough residents won't experience a real estate tax hike in 2012. However, they might still have to pay stormwater management and hydrant fees sometime next year.

On Monday, council voted 6-1 to approve a $10.7 million budget. Councilwoman Christine Scardina-Gazzo dissented.

Officials also voted to table the approval of a monthly $6 , such as road maintenance, and a monthly $1 hydrant fee to put in the fund for borough fire departments.

Plum's millage rate remains 4.3 mills, meaning a resident would pay $430 for every $100,000 of assesed property value.

With budgeted expenses of $10,777,897 and budgeted revenues of $10,778,561, the budget projects a preliminary general fund surplus of $664.

Borough Mayor Rich Hrivnak said the 2012 budget's revenues are almost the same as those in 2007. He said officials will have their work cut out for them when they begin to plan for the 2013 budget.

Scardina-Gazzo said the borough has an immediate need for a hydrant fee to benefit the fire fund. She said the volunteer firefighters deserve to have a solvent fund to pay for fire department equipment and apparatuses, insurance, hydrant and water service, worker's compensation and more.

Officials have been taking money out of the fire fund to balance the generak budget for years, and implementing the fire fund would be "correcting a wrong," Scardina-Gazzo said.

Councilman Mike Dell said the finance committee will meet with the local fire departments in the new year to discuss what is needed.

Borough manager Mike Thomas and Councilman Mike Doyle said the two fees can be implemented at any time in 2012, should council decide it's best to do so.

Senior citizens, take note: Allegheny County’s Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief program offers qualified applicants a 30 percent discount on county real estate taxes.

If you are 60 or older, live in a home of your own which you have owned for at least ten years and have a household income of $30,000 or less, you can qualify.

More information is available at www.alleghenycounty.us/treasure/act77.aspx or by calling 412-350 or 1-866-282-TAXS.

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