Scott sets flexible 2013 budget

Commissioners to review millage in April

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Scott commissioners last week approved budget and tax levy ordinances for 2013, but indications are that some of the numbers -- including millage -- associated with these actions may change.

"These figures are estimates. We do not have the actual figures yet," said township manager Denise Fitzgerald.

She was referring to a $1.1 billion total assessment, which board president Tom Castello called "not realistic." He said that many commercial property appeals have not been heard and that a substantial reduction is expected on one property, which he did not identify.

To calculate its budget, officials used an assessed value of $908,403,342, which would require a 4.457 millage rate, of which 0.776 is the library's millage. That rate would be a reduction from the current rate of 5 mills. However, because of the court-ordered county reassessments, some residents still could see their tax bills increase.

Scott's 2013 preliminary budget figures were $8,176,252 in revenues and $9,925,276 in expenses. A $1,749,028 carryover is being used to balance the new budget. However, 2013 could be a tight fiscal year because the projected ending fund balance is just $4.

Still, Mrs. Fitzgerald said expected real estate tax collections for the new year would be $3,886,804 and that the township will get "a nice jump" in earned income taxes from renters since that tax will be taken out of paychecks.

Though a Dec. 10 order from Common Pleas Court Judge R. Stanton Wettick allows municipalities until June 15 to reset their millage as updated assessment values come in, Commissioner Bill Wells asked that the board revisit the issue before that. His motion to re-examine the township's millage in April was approved unanimously, with a goal of setting a final figure by May 28.

The township's tax bills are mailed out July 1.

In another budgetary matter, commissioners unanimously approved a motion to change the sewer billing from monthly to quarterly.

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Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:


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