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Tax Increase in New Year for W.O. Residents

By Sarah Turnbull
The Tube City Almanac
January 01, 2021
Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak council has enacted a property tax increase to close a nearly $1 million budget gap.

At the Dec. 28 meeting, council by 6-0 vote adopted the 2021 budget and set property taxes at 8.00 mills. Councilman Louis Bender was absent.

The tax rate for 2020 was 6.41 mills on each dollar of assessed valuation, said Councilman George Dillinger, chair of the finance committee, said. The increase amounts to roughly 25 percent.

Each mill represents $1 in taxes on each $1,000 of assessment. A homeowner with a house and land valued at $100,000 can expect their property taxes to increase $159.

The borough is very conscious of its expenses, Dillinger said, and understands that with the COVID-19 pandemic, “people are having hard times,” but he added that the borough’s obligations keep increasing.

Borough officials said expenses have gone up across the board, including for public safety, public works, general running operations, pensions, benefits and salaries.

“We’re also investing $3.2 million in road improvements, as well as building improvements,” Dillinger said.

Without the increase, the borough’s fund balance would have been wiped out, he said.

“So far we haven’t had any pushback from the community,” Dillinger said.

All other municipal tax rates remain the same in 2021.

Without the increase, the borough faced a $994,000 deficit, according to the borough budget report.

The next council workshop meetings will be held 6:45 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18 at the White Oak Athletic Association. Members of the public are welcome but social distancing rules are in place.

Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at sarahturnbull323@gmail.com.

Originally published January 01, 2021.

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