The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 7, 2009

Job cuts, tax hike could be in future

Beader: Budget picture uncertain

MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County Commissioners are gearing up for next year’s budget and they’re already talking about job cuts and taxes.

In the midst of a nasty budget year, the county eliminated 15 jobs by not refilling positions as people have quit or retired, Commissioner Brian Beader said Wednesday. Depending on how the 2010 budget shakes out, more positions might need to go, he said.

The county’s policy has been to cut a job when someone leaves rather than to lay off a worker. Even so, commissioners instituted a mass one-week layoff at the courthouse in August to save money.

Beader also said the commissioners will have to “think hard” about how to maintain a general fund balance — the rainy day money the county needs on tap for when things don’t go according to plan.

In the past, commissioners have said that could take another tax increase next year. Commissioners raised taxes 2 mills this year mostly to finally end the Woodland Place debt issue.

Asked Wednesday if a tax hike is in the cards, Beader said commissioners need to see the fiscal administrator’s numbers before anything is known.

Fiscal chief John Logan said the county’s budget fate is dependent on the state, which has already gone four months without a budget. A large chunk of the county’s budget is made up of pass-through money from the state for mandated programs.

The delay in Harrisburg could put the county in a bit of a scramble to work out numbers for a budget that commissioners have to have in place by the end of December.

The county has covered many bills typically paid by the state as they wait on money to pour out of the state capital. But when the county spends its reserves, it loses all the potential interest on that money. The state doesn’t make up for that loss.

If the county has to raise taxes this year, Beader laid blame on state officials who cut funding to counties to save their budget from fiscal armageddon without levying new taxes. He said that forces counties to raise taxes to keep up with services the state requires counties to perform, Beader said.

That’s not holding the line on taxes, Beader said, it’s a tax shift.

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 24, 2014

    April 24, 2014

  • Bus cameras will be listening, too

    Hermitage School District is taking advantage of a recently enacted exemption to the state’s wiretap law in allowing officials to turn on the audio recording capability on school bus and vehicle video cameras.

    April 24, 2014

  • Union, city OK 4-year contract

    Hermitage’s nonuniformed employees have a new four-year contract that gives them average pay hikes of 2.5 percent a year and the opportunity to live outside the city limits, while allowing administrators more flexibility in scheduling.

    April 24, 2014

  • 2 principals to be hired

    Sharpsville Area school directors needed a shove to make a decision but the board voted Tuesday to interview candidates and hire two principals for 2014-15.

    April 24, 2014

  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo