Kittanning per-capita tax will be eliminated |

Kittanning per-capita tax will be eliminated

Kittanning Council plans to hold the line on real estate taxes in 2015 and eliminate the borough’s per capita tax.

Officials are expected to approve a proposed $2.65 million budget in December and nix the $10 tax levied on all working adults in the borough.

The borough’s tax rate will remain at 27.5 mills, which translates to a tax bill of about $1,100 on a home assessed at $40,000.

“We’re definitely in a position to eliminate the per-capita tax,” Council President Randy Cloak said. “And we don’t feel it’s a tax that can be properly collected.”

Collecting the tax presents a challenge because it’s hard to keep tabs on which residents in the borough are employed.

Cloak said that in some cases, retirees — who don’t have to pay the tax — pay it anyway.

“They were receiving the bill, and there was no rationale,” he said. “It really becomes a nuisance.”

The revenue Kittanning stands to lose from getting rid of the tax — more than $10,000 a year — can be made up in other ways, he said.

Armstrong County collected the per-capita tax for Kittanning until 2008. The next year, the borough assumed responsibility for collecting it. Meanwhile, a number of other Armstrong municipalities discontinued it.

The per-capita tax was expected to bring in about $14,000 in 2014 — the equivalent of half a mill in property tax. Kittanning took in $11,000 in 2014 in per-capita taxes, Cloak said.

The tentative 2015 budget includes $18,000 in carryover and a savings of about $80,000 because of a change in health insurance plans for borough employees.

The budget sets aside $28,000 for major police equipment, among that, a cruiser, and $20,000 for blight elimination efforts.

With the surplus and health insurance savings, Cloak said he is confident about keeping taxes steady.

“It’s all about pinching pennies,” he said.

Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315, or [email protected].

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