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No tax increase for Centre County

County commissioners approved the 2017 budget on Tuesday without a tax increase.
County commissioners approved the 2017 budget on Tuesday without a tax increase. CDT, file

The Centre County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the 2017 county budget on Tuesday.

The county released a budget breakdown, which offers a comprehensive account of the county’s financial reports. The 2016 document was honored with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association.

This year’s document shows a 2017 budget expenditure total of $82,833,780. The revenue totals $82,198,010. The county is using $635,770 of the unassigned general fund to balance the budget.

Commissioner Mark Higgins noted that the budget was delivered on time and without a tax increase.

2017 will be the seventh consecutive year the county was able to avoid increasing taxes for residents.

Without the raise, taxes will remain at 7.84 mills in real estate assessed valuation. The rate of taxation is $0.78 on each $100 of assessed valuation of taxable property. Based on the millage, county taxes will be about $450, municipal taxes will be about $260 and school taxes will be just more than $2,600.

Tax revenue is the largest income source for the county at 44 percent. The state and federal revenue the county receives is the next largest and will total $25.6 million, which accounts for 38 percent. The remaining 18 percent is generated from fees and reimbursements.

County expenses are broken down into eight categories. The largest expense is for human services at 33 percent, followed by administration expenses accounting for 17 percent, corrections 16 percent, judicial 12 percent, capital projects 7 percent, debt service 6 percent, emergency services 5 percent and other allocations at 4 percent.

The capital projects, which account for 7 percent or $5.5 million, will be used for various projects in the county. The largest expenditure will be for renovations of the third and fourth floor of the courthouse building after relocation of the probation and district attorney’s offices. Smaller projects will include maintenance of the outside of the courthouse and parking lot and heating and ventilation work at the Willowbank Building.

The board of commissioners commended the county commissioners office for the detailed analysis of county finances and working to deliver a balanced budget without a tax increase.

The entire 2017 budget document can be seen on the county’s website at www.co.centre.pa.us.

Leon Valsechi: 814-231-4631, @leon_valsechi

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