State College

No tax increase in proposed State College 2018 budget

The borough’s proposed 2018 budget doesn’t include a tax increase.

Borough residents didn’t see a tax increase last year either.

The total borough budget is projected at $48.8 million, Manager Tom Fountaine said.

The General Fund includes revenues of $27,181,218 and expenses of $27,341,703. Personnel makes up 75 percent of the fund’s expenditures, while operating costs make up 22 percent. Real estate taxes bring in 29.6 percent of the revenue for the fund.

Expenditures by department doesn’t change much year to year, he said.

The police department accounts for 38 percent; public works for 23.2 percent; administration for 15.2 percent; and debt/other, planning and neighborhood services, regional programs and parking enforcement make up the rest.

The proposed budget isn’t “perfect,” Fountaine said.

There were several items that were proposed through the budget review that were not included due to lack of funding, such as the proposed Historical and Architectural Review Board, an additional full-time police officer, the public works construction crew (two full-time laborers) and restoring funding for the contracted tree pruning in public works.

These might need additional conversation, Fountaine said. All four, if approved at some point, would require ongoing recurring expenses.

Funding would have to be determined, he said, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it would have to come from raising taxes.

“This budget, like all budgets, continues to be a challenge for us in terms of the limited growth in revenue that we have,” Fountaine said.

Borough Council will begin reviewing the budget at its work session Friday.

A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4, and adoption is slated for Dec. 18.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz