Possibility of county grant may lower city’s tax hike

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said late Thursday afternoon he will adjust his proposed tax increase in the $25.4 million budget proposal for 2017, lowering it from a proposed 0.35 mills to 0.25 mills.

If it holds, that would be a proposed $25 hike per year on those with a house assessed at $100,000. Council holds the first of two budget work sessions Monday night at 7 and 7 p.m. Wednesday.

In an effort to cut a proposed tax increase, Campana said for more than one year he’s been working with the Lycoming County commissioners to see whether they would agree to assist the city with the cost of the records management system used by the city police.

The system tracks police statistics such as arrests and criminal trends, and costs the city $365,000. Campana said Thursday he was informed by the commissioners that the city will receive a grant of $100,000 to cover the management system’s payment next year.

“The tax increase for the 2017 budget will be reduced from .35 mill increase to a .25 mill increase,” Campana said.

Council will receive additional information about this change of the budget Monday night when it holds the first of two budget work sessions, Campana said.

“I would like to thank the commissioners’ assistance in regards to public safety,” he said, stressing the city administration and commissioners have a positive relationship.

As he works on the proposed budget with council, Campana said he was “not satisified and didn’t want to see or like tax increases.” Attempts were made to contact a commissioner for comment but they were not successful.