O’Hara’s draft 2023 budget contains no labor and estate tax hikes
O’Hara officials plan to keep the line on property taxes with next year’s budget.
Council voted 5-0 in a combined workshop and regular meeting on Nov. 9 to approve first reading and announce its draft 2023 budget.
Council President Robert Smith and Councilor Richard Hughes were absent.
The second reading and the formal adoption of the budget are scheduled for 13 December.
The township mileage rate is expected to remain at 2.1 mills. The budget documents indicate that the tax on earned income will remain at 0.8%.
Manager Julie Jakubec said the township has traditionally had a strong collection on both revenue streams.
“We are lucky to have a good tax base for real estate,” she said. “Furthermore, as income increases, the dollar amount of tax on earned income increases with that income. If someone gets a 3% raise, they will pay the next year 3% more than they paid this year. We really watched that one up close. We are budgeting revenues very conservatively due to the economy. Everything here is a rule of conservatism.
O’Hara’s most recent property tax hike came in the 2021 budget. The rate increased from 1.9 mills to 2.1 mills.
Projected revenue and expenses for 2023 were approximately $15.59 million.
Revenue includes approximately $2.7 million in property taxes, $4.86 million in earned income and property transfer tax, $4.1 million in utility costs, $1.15 million in revenue sharing and grants, $214,500 in business licenses and permits, and $25,000 in fines.
Expenses include $1.12 million for administration, including salaries and benefits; $2.31 million for policing; $487,000 for fire, ambulance and emergency management; $556,000 to repay debt; $368,000 for community development and $222,000 for pensions.
Approximately $3.38 million is allocated for capital improvements. These projects include upgrading stormwater management facilities along Epsilon Drive in RIDC Park, stabilizing trails at O’Hara Community Park, upgrading several police vehicles and gates. entrance to the township offices.
A stormwater treatment project along Ravine Street and Powers Run Sanitary Sewer Upgrade that was scheduled for 2022 has been moved to 2023.
Officials plan to use about $2.03 million of township reserve funds to help balance the budget and fund capital improvements.
Jakubec said the reserve fund, also known as the township fund balance, is expected to reach $3.6 million by the end of this year.
“We have a very healthy fund balance,” she said.
Councilman George Stewart praised Jakubec for his thorough financial analysis.
“She’s the best accountant,” Stewart said. “She always tries to work within our means. We receive a number of grants. We can do a little more when we have more money.
Budget planning began in July. The 145-page budget is available for public viewing at the township office, 325 Fox Chapel Road.