Proposed 2018 Centre County budget doesn’t raise real estate taxes

Centre County won’t raise its real estate taxes in 2018.
Centre County won’t raise its real estate taxes in 2018. Centre Daily Times, file

Centre County won’t increase its real estate tax for the eighth consecutive year.

The county Board of Commissioners on Tuesday authorized the 2018 proposed budget for public inspection, and adoption of the budget is slated for the commissioners’ Dec. 19 meeting.

“The citizens of Centre County can be very proud that it doesn’t include a tax increase,” Commissioner Steve Dershem said. “We’re living within our means. We’re doing everything we can possibly do to find economies and do more with less.”

The proposed budget totals about $75.6 million in expenditures and about $73.1 million in revenue.

Of that $75.6 million, $24.3 million is projected to go toward human services funding; $13.4 million to corrections; $10 million to judicial; $8.6 to administration; $4.4 million to internal service; $3.6 million to debt service; $3.8 million to protection and inspection; $2.3 million to conservation and development; $1.8 million to capital projects; and $3.4 million to other allocations.

Projected revenue comes from grants and payments in lieu of taxes ($29.2 million); general real estate taxes ($23.4 million); debt county real estate taxes ($4.2 million); internal charges for services ($4.5 million); and departmental earnings ($11.8 million).

The budget “continue(s) the same level of services and programs,” said Margaret Gray, county administrator.

The proposed budget includes funding for the new drug court, inclusive of a three-year federal grant, and continued funding for the Centre County Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education Initiative, said Thomas Martin, county financial management director.

Among the proposed capital budget projects are courthouse renovations, a new camera system upgrade for the Centre County Correctional Facility and a public safety training site, he said.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz