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Property tax rate holds steady in Penn Township

Penn Township commissioners approved its 2016 budget Monday night.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the $8.3 million budget for next year. Commissioner Edward Sullivan was absent.

The spending plan keeps tax rate steady at 14.7 mills. Taxes have stayed the same since 2013 when a 1-mill increase was approved for the township's fire departments.

Commissioner Tim Gwynn thanked the staff for presenting a plan that did not require a tax increase.

“I thought it was a very smooth process,” Gwynn said.

As the township concludes financial planning for 2016, officials are making efforts to formalize how it saves money for emergencies.

Commissioners approved a policy for the township's reserve fund Monday night.

The plan requires an amount equal to 15 percent of the general fund budget be available for emergencies and contingencies.

It also establishes rules for using capital and operating reserve funds.

“It essentially sets up a savings account, one related to the general fund and one related to the capital reserve fund,” Graziani said. “It tries to put on paper what we've tried to do as practice for the last several years.”

Finance director Linda Iams, who will retire next year, said the policy will help the township avoid the need to borrow money until tax revenue comes in each year.

“I think it will set a clear policy of what we need in that account so that we do not have to do a tax anticipation note,” Iams said.

Commissioners also approved several salaries for 2016. Police Chief John Otto will earn $100,688, public works director Scot Fodi will earn $73,500, director of community development Dallas Leonard will make $75,350, public works foreman Thomas Lamacz will make $665,715 and Iams will earn $67,333.

Tom McGee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2867, or [email protected].


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