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Forks Township Officials Mulled 2013 Tax Hike

Forks Township officials decided to hold off on a tax hike for 2013.

Forks Township officials will meet next Thursday night to adopt the 2013 municipal budget.

But during budget discussions last month, officials came close to pulling the trigger on a tax increase for residents in 2013, but decided to hold off for at least another year because of the continued economic downturn.

"We didn't anticipate a plan for any tax increase," Township Manager John Cornell said.

Supervisor John O'Neil said that the township keeps "delaying" putting away money for capital spending down the road, instead using $200,000 in surplus to balance the budget.

"My concern is that the future is now," O'Neil said. "Nobody wants to hear about a tax increase. We hear that from the school district all the time. Our revenue is leveling off and we're betting that the economy is turning and it's not."

Supervisor Robert Egolf agreed.

"It's not the wise thing to do, to not have a tax increase," Egolf said. "Everything cost more money today. Our expenses go up to run the township."

Egolf is concerned if the township had a catastrophe.

"We'd need money," he said. "And where's the money coming from? We're over our heads in debt because of the public works building."

Egolf said he most worried about the conditions of the township's infrastructure and that by "department heads cutting back for a bare-bones budget" the roads will suffer.

"Not putting away capital I think is a big mistake," Egolf said. "A small increase -- like a quarter or half a mill -- might be fine. I'm on a fixed income. I get a pension and that's it."

KarenF December 12, 2012 at 01:23 PM
somebody remind me again why the public works building was approved?
Mr. Business December 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Township residents should not have to pay for the “sins” of the prior administration. I realize reserves are required. Cut staff, salaries and expenses related to the township (since it was their shortsightedness that created the problem) before asking residents to assume the misguided decisions of the prior administration. Mr. Egolf… I’m glad you are ready to accept a tax increase, but you were part of prior administration… regardless how you voted, the mistake was on your watch, as well as the other four supervisors.

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