The Township Council approved a tentative 2015 budget Thursday that should offer no millage increase for property owners.
The proposed budget includes $6.3 million in revenue and $6.8 million in expenses, with $509,725 reducing the fund balance to $1.5 million.
A proposed 0.25 mill increase that accompanied the initial budget discussions was not included with the approved budget. This keeps the millage rate in the township at 4.9 mills, according to Finance Director Bob Long, where one mill brings in about $438,000.
Township resident Pat Vernon questioned how much the township pays toward the Council of Governments’ budget each year.
“It used to be municipal budgets and taxes were a small bite,” he said. “The big bite came from the school district, which is understandable because we want to produce people who can read and write to become good leaders.”
When you start to add up the COG budget, he said, with other municipalities’ budgets, it’s starting to eclipse the school district’s budget.
“It makes State College not become an affordable place to live. Not just the borough, but the whole State College area,” he said, referring to similar comments made by Borough Councilman Evan Myers on Monday.
Vice Chairwoman Mary Shoemaker said she was not comfortable keeping the fund balance below 10 percent and said the board should consider keeping the 0.25 mill increase.
According to Long, the current balance is budgeted at 8.14 percent.
“After the work session (where the board agreed to not include the increase), we decided it would be better and responsible to go below the targeted fund balance,” he said Friday.
With the approval of the tentative budget, it will now be on display at the township municipal building and on the township website for 20 days, per township code. A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 18.