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State College Borough Council Passes Budget, Tax Increases

State College’s Borough Council met Monday night to finalize next year’s $25 million dollar budget. The council voted to pass the proposed budget.

State College Borough residents will see about a 30% increase in property taxes next year, from 11.04 mill to 14.4 mill. For a house worth $300,000, that means between a $13 – 20 dollar monthly increase, depending on whether the house has a homestead exclusion.

New buyers will also see a quarter percent real estate transfer tax increase. The new rate will be 1.5%, up from 1.25%.Part of this revenue will go towards hiring someone manage the new Homestead Investment Program.

Council president James Rosenberger made two last-ditch suggestions to reduce the proposed tax increases. He first proposed lowering the tax increase by one mill, funded at least partially by delaying new hires. Then he proposed nixing the real estate transfer tax increase by revisiting the way the Homestead Investment Program is funded. But both motions failed to pass. 

Council member Sarah Klinetob spoke out against delaying the tax increases.

"It’s not the best plan to suggest we could magically save money when we’ve had 8 meetings to try to find that," she said.

The council voted 4 to 3 to pass the proposed budget.

After the meeting, mayor Elizabeth Goreham said while voting is done for this year, borough leadership is already looking forward.

"I think the tenor of the meeting was to pass the budget this year and then increase efforts throughout the year to reduce our spending, to monitor our projects, and to be in a position next year where everyone will understand the budget," she said.

Kate Lao Shaffner was the Keystone Crossroads Reporter for WPSU-FM from 2014-2015. She reports on infrastructure, economic, legal, and financial issues in Pennsylvania with reporters from WHYY (Philadelphia), WITF (Harrisburg), and WESA (Pittsburgh).