SAYRE — The Sayre Borough Council on Wednesday officially adopted the municipality’s 2023 budget, which includes a two-mill property tax increase.
Specifically, the tax hike would result in the borough’s tax rate to rise from 12.5 to 14.5 mills. A mill represents 1/1000 of a dollar per a property’s assessed value.
Borough officials attributed the need for the increase to rising costs across the board due to the local and national economy.
“Everything that increases in price affects us as well,” Borough Manager Dave Jarrett said when the budget was tentatively approved on Nov. 14. “The fuel for our trucks, the garbage and recycling program, our leaf and yard waste pick up, a police department with 13 officers, a full-time fire truck driver — all of these things are more expensive.”
The total amount of next year’s spending plan is $11,352,543, according to a copy of the budget, which is broken into the following funds:
- General fund — $6,986,769
- UDAG Fund — $125,050
- Parking lot fund — $165,270
- Sewer fund — $3,210,359
- Capital reserve fund — $682,360
- Liquid fuels fund — $182,735.
The tax increase is estimated to generate approximately $200,000 in new new revenue, which the 39-page document explained would help offset the cost increases of employee wages, health insurance, fuel, debt service and road repair projects.
“It is important to note that the borough’s millage rate will still be lower than at least one other Valley community,” it stated.
Additionally, the budget calls for a $5 per quarter increase in the equivalent dwelling unit sewer rental fee, and a $2.78 hike per thousand gallons of water in commercial properties. That increase would launch in April. The sewer fee hikes would offset the increase in debt service payments related to previous sewer projects as well as the upcoming Hayden Street Pump Station project.
“The development of the annual budget becomes increasingly more difficult each year, and we are extremely fortunate that the borough has received approximately $3.3 million in grant funds since 2013,” borough officials stated. “Our department heads do an outstanding job staying within the budgetary limits each year, and have long-term savings that have been negotiated into our collective bargaining agreements. Had any of these factors not been possible, the development of the annual budget would be even more difficult.”