Monday, November 9, 2020

Columbia Borough Council reviews 2nd 2021 budget proposal

Council reviewed the second 2021 budget proposal and discussed strategies for eventually reducing use of the borough's savings, known as the fund balance, to zero over the next several years. Increasing property values and reducing police department spending were two of the main ideas put forth.

Ideas for reducing use of fund balance: In the latest budget proposal, the fund balance covers a $575,403 funding gap, representing 8.38% of the total budget. Borough Manager Mark Stivers suggested in the future, the best way to eliminate the need to dip into the fund balance is to increase revenue by increasing commercial and residential property values through community development. On the other hand, council President Heather Zink said the answer might be reducing police department spending, which accounts for $3.59 million — 52% of the borough's total general fund expenditures — in the latest budget proposal.

2021 budget proposal details: The 2021 budget proposal is for $6.86 million. The municipal millage rate is staying the same at 8.0, which means the tax bill for a property assessed at $100,000 would continue to be $800. 

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