Budget calls for decrease in taxes
Export council soon will vote on a proposed spending plan that includes a 2-mill decrease in the property tax rate.
Mayor Michael Calder said the planned decrease is the result of "a lot of good luck" and a comparatively small operating budget of about $650,000.
Unlike in large municipalities, he said, "each expenditure that you are presented with through the course of the year occupies a larger portion of your budget," making it easier to control revenue and expenses.
When Mr. Calder first took office in 2010, the property tax rate was 14.9 mills. Council voted to raise that rate to 16 mills last year, the first tax hike in more than a decade. By reducing the rate to 14 mills, it will be lower than when he was sworn in.
He said some members of council believe the borough should not decrease taxes and "build up a war chest," but Mr. Calder said he sees it differently.
"When you're a custodian of public funds, if you need the money, you raise it through taxes, and if you don't, you decrease taxes."
Council is slated to vote on the budget Wednesday.
Counselor wins state award
Colleen Tortorella, Gateway High School counselor and adviser for the senior class, has been named the 2012 Pennsylvania High School Counselor of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association. She was presented with the award Nov. 30 at the association's 57th annual conference in Lancaster.
Mrs. Tortorella has worked at Gateway High School for 19 years. She is chairwoman of the K-12 school counseling department. Her most notable achievement for the district was helping Gateway High School and Middle School earn the RAMP Distinction from the American School Counselors Association. The distinction means that both counseling programs have gone through extensive reviews and now are recognized as model programs according to the association's standards.neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland