The 2013 Plum Borough preliminary budget included a sanitation fee, but officials are saying that will be removed.
A special meeting to approve the final budget has been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. at the borough building. The $11.67 million preliminary budget holds the line on taxes and includes a $5-a-month increase to sanitation fees.
However, Councilman Mike Dell, chair of the finance committee, said the fee has been removed and the 2012 surplus will be used to balance the budget.
The fee would generate about $600,000, but Dell said that due to the recent changes in Earned Income Tax withholding, the borough received five quarters of payments versus the usual four—meaning the borough's end-of-year surplus increased.
After covering the cost of the fee, the borough still is expected to end 2012 with a $1.2 million surplus, Dell said.
Officials are suggesting that residents donate the money they would have used for the fee to the local fire departments and to Plum Emergency Medical Services.
"What we give to the fire departments and EMS is only a fraction of what their budgets are," Dell said.
Here are some budget highlights:
- One police SUV and two sedans are included
- Cameras and automated external defibrillators for the police department are included
- Road construction investment is double than that of 2012
- The fire fund is balanced
Plum's millage rate remains 4.3 mills, meaning a resident would pay $430 for every $100,000 of assessed property value. Tax rates have remained steady since 2008. The preliminary budget is on display at the borough building.