GREENVILLE — Greenville Council proposed a 2-mill property tax hike Wednesday after council members decided that they had no options for cutting spending.
Greenville’s 2019 property tax rate is 36.08 mills, which breaks down as 24.5 mills for the general fund, 3 mills for the fire department and 8.58 mills in debt service, including payments on borrowing to pay for a sports complex in West Salem Township.
The 2020 budget calls for a property tax rate of 38.08 mills, including an increase in the debt service funding from 8.58 mills to 10.58 mills.
A resident who owns a property valued at $70,000 would have a municipal tax bill of $2,665.60, an increase of $140 from 2019.
In addition to the sports complex, Greenville will borrow $150,000 to fix a borough building roof leak and money for new police cruisers, said borough Manager Jasson Urey.
Each year the borough pays for a police cruiser.
“Every time we pay off a police cruiser we have to take out a loan,” said Councilman Rev. Sean Hall.
Hall expressed his desire to see the borough pay down debt and save for capital improvement expenditures.
“Every financial expert recommends you have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses,” Hall said.
But ever since the borough fell into Act 47 economically distressed municipality status in 2002, officials have been trying to play catch up, Hall said.
“The current mill increase is to help us tread water,” Hall said. “We do have a choice whether or not to pay off the debt early or try to save up an emergency fund. I think that’s something we should prioritize. I’d like to see us get ahead.”
Greenville is balancing its budget, but not any more than that, Urey said.
“We do not end the year with any extra revenue so we do not have any surplus of funds built up,” he said. “We do not have any excess revenue. We do not do any capital improvements.”
The next borough council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11 and the borough will vote to adopt the 2020 budget on Monday, Nov. 25.
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