Moon, Robinson Approve 2013 Budgets, Postpone Adjusting Millage Rates

An Allegheny County judge has extended the deadline for municipalities to finalize 2013 millage rates.

Officials in Moon and Robinson have opted to delay setting millage rates for 2013 following a court order extending deadlines for municipalities to approve budgets and property tax rates.  

Municipalities have the option to re-examine and modify their final millage rates no later than 10 days before 2013 tax bills are mailed, according to the court order. 

The deadline to adopt municipal budgets has been delayed until Jan. 31, though the neighboring communities have approved 2013 spending plans. 

Allegheny County Judge Stanton R. Wettick earlier this month moved to extend the deadlines as municipalities work to finalize their budgets with uncertainty regarding property assessment appeals. 

Robinson Township commissioners unanimously approved the community's $11 million 2013 budget following a public hearing Thursday. 

"Depending on the result of the reassessment for each parcel, Robinson residents could see their township real estate taxes decrease, increase or stay roughly the same," said township manager Aaron Bibro in a statement. 

Bibro said projected 2013 expenditures mark a decrease from those of the 2012 budget. Township revenues for 2013 are projected to increase by $248,815 from this year's spending plan. 

The budget increases from this year plan within the 5 percent anti-windfall limit. Preliminary figures show the assessed value of the township will increase by 28 percent, Bibro said. 

Municipalities must receive court approval before increasing revenues by more than 5 percent during reassessment years. 

Moon supervisors passed the township's $12.4 million final budget in a 4-to-0 vote on Dec. 19, also opting to defer re-adjusting millage rates until precise assessment values are available. 

The township also exercised its ability to raise the budget by the 5 percent anti-windfall limit. 

Moon manager Jeanne Creese said the budget will not change based on assessment values. 

"To sit without a budget until Jan. 31 just seems irresponsible," Creese said at the Board of Supervisors December workshop meeting. "To not have a spending plan approved just doesn't seem appropriate." 

Robinson's 2012 millage rate is 3.05; Moon Township's current rate is 3.28 mills. 


Patch editor Larissa Dudkiewicz contributed to this story.


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