No Tax Increase for Fourth Straight Year in Oil City

| November 16, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – For the fourth straight year Oil City is holding the line on taxes.

There is no tax increase in the 2019 Oil City budget that was passed on a first-reading basis at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

“I am tremendously happy there is no tax increase,” Oil City Mayor William Moon said. “It’s a testament to good management from our City Manager, our employees and staff watching how money is being spent and making sure that we don’t have any issues that come up that we can’t take care of.”

The total budget is $21,371,989.00.

“I’m really happy there is no tax increase in this budget,” Oil City manager Mark Schroyer said. “That is the fourth year in a row that the budget put together by myself, Michelle Hoovler and the department heads have kept the taxes where they were at.”

The real-estate tax will be 11.92 mills broken down as follows to 8.56 mills for general fund purposes, 2.17 mills for parks, playgrounds and recreation areas, 1.01 mills for the City’s public library and 0.18 mills to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred pursuant to the “Local Government Debt Act.”

In addition to the real-estate tax, there will be a $10.00 per capita tax, an Earned Income Tax of 1 percent, a Realty Transfer tax of 1 percent and a Local Services Tax of $52.00. In addition, a residence tax will be $5.00 and business license fees were set as follows: $100.00 on gross receipts exceeding $100,000.00, $50.00 on gross receipts between $5,000.00 and $100,000.00, and $25.00 on gross receipts less than $5,000.00 or a new business.

Again, all these taxes are unchanged from 2018.

As part of the proposed budget, the city anticipates doing a $475,000.00 paving program.

“It’s a robust paving program,” Schroyer said. “It is the most we have budgeted for paving in years.”

Schroyer also said there are a few waterline/water-crossing projects that needed to be budgeted for including water lines on East 2nd Street and Cowell Avenue and water-crossing projects crossing both Oil Creek and the Allegheny Rivers.

“There is pretty healthy constructions projects planned,” Schroyer said.

The proposed budget and taxes will need to pass two more readings before the Council before they can be enacted.

INCREASE TO WATER, SEWAGE, GARBAGE, RECYCLING FEES

While taxes are holding the line, there will be increases to the City’s water and sewage and garbage and recycling rates.

With the water rates, the minimum monthly charges will remain the same (see chart below) but the rate schedule based on the monthly reading will go up by 65 cents per 100 cubic feet of water used. That ranges from an 11.6 percent increase for those using 1,600 cubic feet to 3,200 cubic feet to an 18.1 percent increase for those using over 700,000 cubic feet (see chart below).

Sewage rates for persons/entities within the City will now be set at a monthly minimum of $9.50 per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) plus an additional usage charge of $3.70 for each 100 cubic feet of water consumption read or reported. For tributary customers, the monthly rate will include a minimum charge of $10.35 per EDU plus an additional usage charge of $2.10 for each 100 cubic feet of wastewater production read of reported.

Garbage rates will also increase from $19.20 to $21.25 per month with recycling fees going from $8.70 to $10.00 per month.

“There a couple of reasons these increases are necessary,” Schroyer said. “Annual expenses increase by two or three percent every year based on health and union contracts, and there is a decrease in the revenue from water because Cranberry Township is buying less water.”

Schroyer also said debt is going up on the water/sewage because infrastructure improvements need to be made.

“We are playing catch up,” Schroyer said. “Plus, we have antiquated equipment that needs to be updated.”

Schroyer also pointed out that on the water side of things the Department of Environmental Protection has imposed a $20,000.00 permit fee, which he said, “came out of the blue.”

“It went from zero to 20 percent,” Schroyer said. “It was to help pay for their new employees. It is something we had to deal with at the last minute.”

The increase in the garbage and recycling rates, which Schroyer warned about at last week’s meeting, is due to the fact the City’s current garbage contract with Tri-County Industries out of Grove City ends June 30, 2019.

“We have been told our premium will increase a minimum of 10 percent for recycling and refuge,” Schroyer said. “The recycling is based on China not accepting as much as in the past. So, we had to factor in the minimum 10 percent.”

All increase must pass two more Council readings before they can be enacted.

DECEMBER MEETINGS TO BE BACK-TO-BACK WEEKS

The two December council meetings will be in back-to-back weeks with the first meeting being held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, and the second one being held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. Both of those meetings will be held in the City Council Chambers on the second floor of the City Building.

2019 WATER SCHEDULE

Minimum Monthly Charge

For all 8-inch water meters: $106.50 per month
For all 6-inch water meters: $106.50 per month
For all 4-inch water meters: $71.50 per month
For all 3-inch water meters: $46.50 per month
For all 2-inch water meters: $26.50 per month
For all 1 ½-inch water meters: $21.50 per month
For all 1-inch or small water meters: $14.50 per month

RATE SCHEDULE BASED ON MONTHLY READING

From 0 cubic feet to 1,600 cubic feet add $5.70 per 100 cubic feet
From 1,600 cubic feet to 3,200 cubic feet add $5.60 per 100 cubic feet
From 3,200 cubic feet to 4,800 cubic feet add $5.55 per 100 cubic feet
From 4,800 cubic feet to 6,400 cubic feet add $5.50 per 100 cubic feet
From 6,400 cubic feet to 100,000 cubic feet add $5.30 per 100 cubic feet
From 100,000 cubic feet to 200,000 cubic feet add $4.90 per 100 cubic feet
From 200,000 cubic feet to 700,000 cubic feet add $4.50 per 100 cubic feet
Over 700,000 cubic feet add $4.25 per 100 cubic feet

A 14 percent penalty will be added to any bill not paid within 20 days, and these rates will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.


Copyright © 2019 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Category: Local News, News