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Oxford Borough Council discusses 2014 budget

11/13/2013 02:28PM, Published by ACL, Categories:



By Steven Hoffman

Staff Writer

Oxford Borough Council discussed the preliminary 2014 budget at Monday night’s council meeting.

Borough council member Sherry Andrews, who serves on the Budget and Finance Committee, said that a number of increases in proposed expenditures—in health insurance costs, in support to the Union Fire Company No. 1—came late in the budgeting process and makes a tax increase likely where it appeared, for a time, that the borough might be able to balance the budget without one.

Artemis Anderson, the borough’s treasurer, said that health insurance costs are increasing approximately $4,000 per month.

“Insurance is a big {increase}, and that’s a problem nationally,” said Borough Manager Betsy Brantner.

Borough officials have spent the last several months working on the spending plan. Anderson said that the final result of that work was to raise the millage rate from 11.5 mills to 12 mills. A tax increase to 12 mills would add $87.50 to the tax bill for the owner of a home assessed at $175,000. An informal polling of Oxford Borough Council members showed support to balance the budget with a millage rate of 12 mills, and council agreed to advertise the preliminary budget while work on the final budget continues.

Oxford Borough Council is expected to adopt a final budget for 2014 at a council meeting in December, most likely at the Dec. 16 meeting.

Oxford Borough Council also agreed to advertise a proposed water ordinance. There is a 2 percent increase in water rates—from $25.50 to $26—for homeowners who use up to 5,000 gallons per quarter. All the other water rates will increase by 1 percent across the board, according to the proposal. The water ordinance establishing the rates for 2014 is also expected to be adopted at a meeting in December.


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