The proposed Milford Borough budget for 2022 reduces the property tax millage rate by 10 percent, made possible by the new Earned Income Tax, said Councilman Joe Dooley.
“Due to the EIT we will now have $100,000 in extra general fund revenue in 2022, which will enable the borough to raise police salaries, provide for matching grants, provide for capital improvements and so many other services each borough resident sees every day,” Dooley said.
One mil is approximately $20,000. The budget will reduce the total millage from 48.1 mils to 43.1 mils or 5 mils, he said.
That means the borough will be collecting $100,000 less in property taxes in 2022 than in 2021. And that’s where the Earned Income Tax comes in, Dooley said. In an estimate given by Berkheimer Associates, the EIT is expected to generate $200,000 for the borough in 2022.
Berkheimer estimates that from 400 to 450 borough residents will be subject to the EIT, “myself included,” said Dooley. “This represents approximately one-third of our 1,200 total population.”
Berkheimer says some 125 borough residents already pay the EIT to other municipalities, primarily Westfall and Matamoras.
Dooley said residents who also own property will see a 10 percent reduction in their property taxes in 2022.
He said for the EIT, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are a senior citizen.
If you have earned income or wages from a job or self-employment, you will be subject to the one percent EIT, he said. What is not taxed and will benefit many seniors, he said, is “all retirement income, social security, pension income, IRA distributions, 401K distributions, interest, dividends, rental income or anything the IRS or Pennsylvania does not classify as ‘earned income.’”
Anyone in the borough with a question about what is taxable should contact their personal tax advisor or call Berkheimer at 610-599-3139 (hab-inc.com).
The Pike County Commissioners haven’t done a reassessment of property values in the county since 1994.
The proposed budget resolution will be voted on at the next regular borough meeting on Nov. 16.
Raises for competitive hiring
Mayor Sean Strub announced that the starting rate for borough police officers has been increased from $17.50 to $20 an hour. This includes a 5 percent increase for full-time officers and the chief of police.
This will make the borough more competitive when hiring officers. Dooley said Pike correctional officers earn $24 an hour.
“Both Eastern Pike Regional and the Pike County Sheriff’s Department are now offering $20 an hour to part-time staff,” Strub said.
Strub said three candidates are under consideration for hire: Luis Rodriguez, Christopher Bird, and Anthony Scipione. The amount of training needed depends on the candidate, with those fresh from the academy requiring more than seasoned officers.
“The new hires in and of themselves won’t affect traffic enforcement,” Strub said, “but the additional shifts proposed will allow us to have two officers on duty much of the time.”
The council authorized the chief and Strub to hire any or all three if they meet the criteria.
The mayor runs the police department. All hiring and firing decisions require approval by the council.