EDINBORO — With the exception of an opposing vote from the borough’s mayor and despite laments and some suggested alternatives from property owners, Edinboro Borough Council voted Monday to adopt next year’s spending plan with a $100-plus property tax increase.

The new millage rate means an Edinboro homeowner with a property valued at $100,000 will go from paying what was a $230 tax bill this year to paying $335 in 2006.

Mayor Bob Cannell didn’t comment on why he voted against adopting the 2006 budget with a property tax of 3.35 mills, up from 2.3 mills. But he recently said in his opinion, borough property owners are already “far overtaxed.”

He recently suggested that officials consider reducing the borough’s full-time police staff from eight officers to six as a possible way to further reduce the tax hike, which was originally proposed as an 82 percent increase up to 4.18 mills.

Officials discussed but declined to pursue that option, noting that cutting the police staff wouldn’t solve the borough’s budget crunch and could reduce the department’s coverage in the borough and lead to a decrease in its annual revenues and an increase in its overtime expenses.

Council members did vote to bring the originally-proposed tax hike down by offering two borough employees early retirements and cutting one part-time position, cutting the purchase of a new police vehicle and some spending on park maintenance and other cost-saving measures.

Officials have said the borough’s roughly $250,000 deficit is because of increases in services, employee pension costs and other expense areas, as well as a $150,000 shortfall in anticipated revenues from a $52 Emergency and Municipal Services Tax.



Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at rsmith@meadvilletribune.com

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