2017-12-02 / Front Page

Cameron County unveils $8.17M budget

A 2018 operating budget calling for a $440,000 increase in spending is on the runway for approval by the Cameron County Board of Commissioners.

It calls for $8.17 million in spending and is on public display at the courthouse. Input will be accepted from the public until Dec. 21, when Commissioners Lori Reed, Jim Thomas and Phil Jones have scheduled an adoption vote.

Two state measures have brought new revenue to the county government. These include the Pa. Act 13 shale gas drilling impact fee that’s imposed by the state, with some revenue being shared with the county, and a $111,000 annual boost in the “payments in lieu of taxes” (PILT) for state forest and park lands,

The draft budget would hold the real estate tax, largest single source of revenue, at 25.5 mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent, applied to the assessed value of homes, businesses, other buildings and acreage.

In Cameron County, each mill generates about $27,000 in revenue. The higher PILT represents the amount that would be generated by four mills of real estate tax.

Largest single expenses for 2018 is employee wages and benefits, which are pegged at $705,000 next year. The budget calls for a two-percent pay increase for employees and continued health insurance, which is expected to cost two-percent more, paid by the county.

Other major expenses include children services ($482,000), debt service ($286,000), inmate expenses ($279,000), human services ($268,000) and maintenance ($166,000).

“There will be no increase in taxes, thanks to the frugality of our department heads,” said Commissioner Reed. “Our quarterly budget meetings have really helped us keep a lid on expenditures and monitor expenses more closely than before.”

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