Tax bills across Franklin County, Pa., are going up in 2013.
This week, the county commissioners approved a slight property tax increase to support library services.
They also passed a preliminary budget that calls for a tax increase county officials say will cost the average homeowner $9.
The commissioners have been reviewing a $112.9 million spending plan for all operations and services, with $42.7 million of that targeted for the fund that includes elected officials, probation, courts, the Day Reporting Center, the jail, elections and veterans affairs.
The proposed budget includes a $6.6 million infusion into the fund supporting human services, the county-operated nursing home (Falling Spring Nursing and Rehabilitation Center), the department of emergency services and domestic relations. The commissioners are anticipating spending $485,000 more than 2012, including a $264,000 increase at the nursing home and a $159,000 increase for emergency services.
The preliminary budget, which is scheduled to be finalized Dec. 27, includes a 2 percent pay increase for employees. It also places $907,000 into a contingency fund as the board considers whether to hire new full-time employees in the jail, planning department and custodial department, and a part-time employee in the emergency services department.
The preliminary budget calls for a real estate tax increase of one-half of one mill. A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
The half-mill increase is expected to generate an additional $680,000 in revenue for the county, plus the county anticipates the value of each mill being higher because the tax base grew.
“All revenue sources are showing a decrease from 2012, except for taxes,” Fiscal Director Teresa Beckner said Thursday.
To balance the budget, the commissioners will use the additional tax revenue, $1.5 million in anticipated savings from 2012 and $400,000 from reserves, which are expected to total $13.3 million next year.
Appearing separately on tax bills will be a higher rate for the library services tax. Taxpayers can anticipate an additional quarter mill in taxes for the county library system, whose director says has been deeply hurt by state budget cuts in recent years.
That quarter-mill increase for library services would be approximately $5 for a $150,000 house, Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski said.
The preliminary budget will be made available in the commissioners’ office and online at www.co.franklin.pa.us.
If approved as presented, the budget would establish a county tax rate of 25.65 mills, plus 1.05 mills for the library tax.