>>Click here to view a detailed copy of the proposed 2017 budget
|2017 Duncannon Borough Budget Summary|
|2016 General Fund||$368,623||$667,470||(-$298,847)|
|2017 General Fund||$401,383||$387,820||$13,563|
|2016 Water Fund||$285,298||$410,384||(-$125,086)|
|2017 Water Fund||$398,650*||$337,750||$60,900|
|* includes anticipated $107,500 borrowing for reservoir repairs|
|2016 Electric Fund||$1,260,100||$1,465,618||(-$205,518)|
|2017 Electric Fund||$1,121,100||$1,111,820||$9,272|
|2016 Sewer Fund||$522,621||$825,094||(-$302,474)|
|2017 Sewer Fund||$849,964||$837,075||$12,889|
|* includes anticipated $265,000 borrowing for DEP mandated sewage treatment plant repairs|
|2016 Refuse Fund||$189,085||$266,895||(-$77,810)|
|2017 Refuse Fund||$266,895||$197,113|| --|
What is the biggest change in this proposed budget? This budget eliminates the contracted police service from Penn Township, eliminating a projected expense of $169,160, which equates to approximately 3 mils in property tax.
Tax impacts of the proposed 2017 budget: Even with the elimination of the police services contract, a small property tax increase (0.32 mils) is needed to balance the 2017 budget. Additionally, this budget establishes a 0.49 fire protection services tax which is a dedicated funding source for local fire protection. This tax will generate approximately $25,000 for the Duncannon Volunteer Fire Department, a slight increase in the $23,000 Borough contribution to the fire company in the 2016 budget.
What would the impact be if the Borough continued the police services arrangement with Penn Township? Continuing the police services arrangement would mean a total property tax increase of 3.85 mils, more than doubling the Borough’s current rate of 3.1 mils.
What is a mil? Can you put it in dollars and cents? A mil equates to $1.00 for every $1,000 of tax assessment. Based upon an averaged assessed value of $60,000, that means in 2016 an average homeowner paid $186 in Borough property taxes (additional property tax amounts are imposed by the school district and the county).
With the proposed tax increase and the addition of the fire services tax, that same homeowner would pay $234. Had the police services arrangement remained in the budget, that same tax bill would almost double to $434.
What about utility rates? The proposed budget does not increase water, sewer, or electric rates. A small, 15 percent, increase is called for in trash rates. This is necessary to balance the refuse department fund. Council has, though, authorized the Borough Manager to work on gathering bids to consider the possibility of privatizing trash pickup in the Borough.
That does not mean utility rates may not go up at some point in 2017. The Borough is faced with a plethora of needed repairs to both its sewer and water systems because of the deferred maintenance of years past. The Borough and its Municipal Authority have been in discussions with the state Department of Environmental Protection regarding a plethora of violations over the past few years and it is anticipated DEP will render a consent order requiring the Borough to undertake what could be $2 million to $3 million in required upgrades to the Duncannon Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The proposed budget does not include any capital improvement projects. Currently plans call for the Borough and the Authority to work together on plans to meet DEP’s requirements, including determining the best way to finance those improvements. There is a distinct likelihood that may result in a need to make adjustments in water and sewer rates.