PITTSTON — Council members approved a preliminary 2018 budget Wednesday, which calls for no hike in a homeowner’s property taxes but a small boost in the earned income tax.
The budget currently totals $6,724,658 with a millage rate of 6.85. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed property value.
The tentative plan was approved 3-1, with Councilman Michael Lombardo voting against it and Councilman Danny Argo being absent.
According to city administrator Joe Moskovitz, the budget does not call for a tax increase on sewage, refuse and real estate, but it does call for a .45 percent increase in earned income taxes as well as a .5 percent increase in real estate transfer taxes.
Earned income taxes are taken out of a worker’s paycheck, and real estate transfer taxes are the levies placed on the buying and selling of properties.
Approval of the proposed budget is expected at the next council meeting in December.
In other business:
• Council members approved a Community Development Block Grant to address several city projects.
Joe Chacke, executive director of the Redevelopment Authority, said the grant will be used for the demolition of blighted structures, reconstructing Panama Street as well as its sidewalks, and doing community policing which he said will help put more officers in neighborhoods.
“It’s kind of like foot patrols,” Chacke said. “It’ll have the residents get to know police officers, build trust and build a rapport type-thing. It’s done all over the country. They used to do it here maybe 20, maybe 30 years ago, and we’re going to get more people out on the street.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher