The Baldwin Borough Council has pulled its municipality's 2013 budget off of the shelves.
After having made the budget available for public review over the past seven days, the borough council acted on the advice of its solicitor on Tuesday night and rescinded public review until the budget's final millage rate (local real estate taxes) can be set. The council's vote was 7-0.
Solicitor Stanley B. Lederman made the recommendation in light of a recent decision by Allegheny County Judge R. Stanton Wettick to allow municipal leaders until Jan. 31 to set their communities' 2013 millage rates.
Wettick is also giving county officials until Dec. 21 to finish making decisions on property value appeals—including ones from Baldwin Borough property owners.
Because of the appeals process, Baldwin's council members do not know exactly how much real estate revenue to expect in 2013. Thus, they cannot yet set the borough's millage rate.
Nevertheless, Baldwin's millage rate—currently at 6.61—is expected to decrease since a recent countywide real estate reassessment raised the value of most Baldwin properties.
Keeping the same local millage rate for 2013 (when the reassessments take effect) would result in a "windfall" of increased tax revenue for the borough, something that is illegal, but the law does allow for the borough to adjust its lowered millage rate at 105 percent instead of just 100 percent, meaning that local property owners may end up paying more in real estate taxes than the year before.
The Baldwin Council is expected to use that extra 5 percent.
Stay tuned to the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch for updates.
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And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Wednesday for more odds and ends from Tuesday night's council meeting.
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