SHICKSHINNY – Mayor Beverly Moore voted to break a tie vote with regard to the proposed 2013 budget, leading to rejection of the spending plan and accompanying tax increase.
The budget, submitted by Melissa Weber, out-going secretary/treasurer, called for increases in real estate taxes to 1.24 mills and the street lighting fund to 1 mill in order to meet what Weber projects as a shortfall in revenue. Overall, Weber, with the increase, estimated income at $238,820 and expenses of also $238,820. Without a tax hike, Weber estimated a $46,826 shortfall.
A mill is a $1 tax on each $1,000 of assessed property value.
When a roll call vote was called to advertise the budget, Councilman Gary Morris and council Chairwoman Rosalie Whitebread voted no. Councilmen Jim Wido and Barry Noss cast yes votes. Moore broke the tie by voting against the budget. She did the same when a roll call was called to enact a rate of taxation. Wido and Noss supported the increase; Morris and Whitebread opposed.
Councilman Mike Steeber was absent.
As a result, basic taxes will remain at 2012 levels: .9175 of a mill for real estate and .2145 for street lighting. In addition, the borough imposes a 1 percent earned income tax, which Weber projects will yield $65,000 in 2013. .
It was decided that the budget will be presented for adoption at a special meeting on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.
Issues surrounding Moore followed a presentation by Clarence Lewis of North Susquehanna Avenue, who is associated with the Shickshinny Forward group. Lewis presented plaques to Art Zehner of the street department; council, with Whitebread accepting; and Weber, financial officer. Lewis said they were commended for their role in the flood recovery effort of 2011.