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Harrisville raises property taxes for first time in 15 years

5-mill increase will address budget deficit, council says

HARRISVILLE — Borough council unanimously approved a 5-mill property tax increase for the 2024 tax year at a meeting Monday, Dec. 4.

The decision to raise property taxes from 11.5 mills to 16.5 comes after nearly 15 years of not raising taxes in the borough, according to Will McCoy, council’s budget chairman.

It also comes in light of a deficit in the 2023 budget that would have stood at about $93,352, had it not been for $89,948 in unused COVID-19 funding.

The tax increase would equate to about $50 more per year for an average homeowner and would help cover the budget deficit, McCoy said.

McCoy also said the tax increase brings Harrisville in line with the rest of the county.

By delaying the tax increase another year, McCoy said the deficit would only grow.

“There’s not a lot places you can cut stuff,” he said.

Three members of the public voiced concern about the budget and agreed with council’s decision to raise taxes.

Council members reappointed

Council voted 5-1 to appoint Dave Evans and Will McCoy to council for another year.

To address the turnover rate on council and two anticipated vacant seats on council in January, McCoy motioned to appoint council vice president Evans to council for the 2024 year. Evans then motioned to reappoint McCoy to council. The full council approved the motions.

Council member Mary Anne Hughes expressed concern about the procedure, and said the vacant seats could have been advertised, and letters of interest collected from prospective candidates. Solicitor Ben Orsatti had no legal concern with the procedure.

Two new write-in candidates, Kathleen Bray and John McFadden, who were elected in the 2023 November general election, will begin their terms in January.

Council also has two auditor positions open. McCoy encouraged residents with experience to consider applying.

Other business
  • Council accepted a $3,658 quote from McDowell Implement of Grove City for the repair of a tractor.
  • Council allotted $1,220 for the repair of two electric plugs and a master timer for Christmas display usage by Kunselman Electric.
  • Council approved $7,000 for the repair of a police car by Grove City Ford Service.

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