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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Potter County Taxes To Rise 1 Mill

Potter County Taxes Going Up

By Gerri Miller
Black Forest Broadcasting

Potter County Property owners will be paying more in taxes next year following action by the commissioners yesterday raising taxes by one mill, the first increase in several years.


Chairman Doug Morley explained that criminal justice costs were the driving force in making the increase necessary along with a requirement that the county contribute to the pension plan which suffered a hit this year in the stock market. The county is required by law to contribute whatever funds are necessary to bring the plan up to a certain level when its earnings fall below that level.

Commissioner Paul Heimel commended Chairman Morley and Chief Clerk Kathy Majot for the work in preparing the proposed budget. Heimel said he and fellow commissioner Susan Kefover studied the proposal this week, looking for additional ways to cut expenses and found that it was already a lean spending plan with no other areas to cut.

He also commended county department heads for keeping expenses as low as possible but concurred with Morley that criminal justice costs drove the plan. Heimel noted jail expenses alone, went from $1,000,000 in 2011 to an estimated $1.4 million next year—some of that due to an increase in crimes committed by female suspects as they have to be housed in other counties.

An upcoming murder trial will also impact the county’s resources.

The 2012 millage will be 14.55. Chairman Morley said the budget will be available for public view starting December 9 and will be adopted on December 29.

Prior to the vote, the board accepted a bid from Northwest Savings Bank for the tax anticipation note with an unprecedented interest rate of 1.49%, the lowest submitted. Bids were also received from Citizens and Northern, 2.75%; First Citizens, 2.75%; First National Bank of Port Allegany, 1.99 %. The board also approved a resolution allowing the tax anticipation loan. More local/regional news...

65 comments :

Anonymous said...

So if I read and understand this article, we, the tax payers, are being taxed more for criminals? Why are the costs not being passed onto them?

Anonymous said...

WOW QUESTION IF THE COUNTY HAS TO CUT IN DEPARTMENTS AND WATCH WHAT THEY SPEND ..HOW COME THEY JUST BOUGHT A NEW TRUCK FOR MAINTAINCE THE OLD ONE WAS WORKING FINE OR JUST FIX IT LIKE YOU DO THE PCHS VANS = THEY ARE IN NEED OF NEW VANS AND THEY CAN'T GET THEM THEIR VANS ARE CAUSING OUR CONSUMERS WHO DEPEND ON THE TRANSPORTATION TO APPOINTMENTS GRIEF PCHS CALL US AT THE LAST MINUTE " WE CAN'T TAKE YOU THE VANS DOWN SO YOU CAN'T GO " THIS HAPPENS ON A WEEKLY BASIC !!!!!!!! COMMISIONERS TAKE YOUR TRUCK BACK AND GET SAFE VANS FOR OUR ELDERLY THEY ARE IN NEED OF TRANSPORTATION ...........

Anonymous said...

I quit reading the articl2 when it stated in so many words they are worried about their pension plan..Wonderful, wish we could tap into the public when our 401K takes a hit..Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I figured there would be some prices to pay for all of this crime we are seeing in the past couple years. Most of it is directly related to drug addiction. Clinton County had a murder case and that alone was responsible for a tax increase of 3.5 mills. The Potter County murder case could end up being three murder cases because there are three defendants. How how will thsoe costs go?
How come county taxpayers have to pay all these costs for criminal cases? Why can't the state pay?
One lesson from this is that parents need to get out of denial and quit covering up for their kids and be more effective at parenting. When you let the trashy TV and movies and internet raise your kids or let them run on the streets you are making it very likely that they'll develop very bad habits that often lead to crime.

Anonymous said...

Paul, Great job higher taxes! Lets get a DA that rubber stamps any charges the cops want to bring against someone. Better yet go for the maximum time in jail for petty crimes consistantly. We have a wonderful Police state here in the county? The tax payers just love paying to keep our young man and woman incarcerated. Go Andy Go yes!

Anonymous said...

I just will never understand why government has a guaranteed rate on their retirement and the general public does not. As far as criminal costs go raise the fines and costs associated with crime

Anonymous said...

First of all maybe you ought to look at what law enforcement is bringing in as far as revenue for the county. The commissioners blame it on the criminals. If they would redirect some money and maybe not replace some jobs like in ema. They could save the tax payer money. Also when we talk about the criminal. How can the criminal be taxed when they are already typically on sometype of assistance from the state. We are already paying. Look at some people thier fines already are reaching $5000. and they are on a payment plan of $25 month. Now lets figure how much they are really contributing to society. I personally don't think that we should fund the criminals through rehab and other such programs. What about me that works 80 hrs a week and pays all my bills on time. Where is the break I get on heating or taxes, etc. Lets face it the average joe gets stuck no matter what. Also what about people that are behind on thier taxes. I am wondering what the percentage of people that haven't paid or are behind. If we went after some of them that might just make up the difference. Also the county instead of taxing the average joe. We should be looking at bringing in other revenue's. Such as taxing motels. Logging some of the land the county has. Or hell, even have fund raiser like a 50,50 drawing.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else find it interesting that they campaigned on not raising taxes then as soon as election is over look what happens. Take a look at the line item budget costs for the jail and you'll see just how much money is being wasted to spoil the inmates( or "residents" as the sheriff refers to them as)

Anonymous said...

I can't take much more ! I live in Austin and already pay about 150.00 dollars per month for my small house on less than 1/2 acer!

Anonymous said...

I saw this in the paper yesterday and wanted some answers. So I asked some questions. As far as pension for retired employees, that is a law and when the market sucks there is no way out of propping it back up. But having some of that invested instead of just put in some CD at really low interest has paid off in the long run. The former Commissioners and these Commissioners are smart to keep it invested. As far as criminal costs, my God is that a freakin mess but again there is no way to wiggle out of that. The increased costs at the jail alone eat up more money than this tax increase is going to bring in. What that means is that a lot of cuts have already been made or are being made or there would be a lot higher increase than one mill. Ask some questions and then when you make some comments they will be informed comments. You can go to the courthouse and look at the budget for yourself too. They have to make it public.

Anonymous said...

If you look at your tax bill the big expense is the school taxes. Not defending or critisizing this but just saying... The school boards could definitely slow down on taxes by not caving in to the militant teacher's union and giving their top dog administers these $110,000 salaries with all of the perks.

Anonymous said...

What is one mill and 14.55 millage? What does that mean? Sorry to be so dumb.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, getting as bad as New York State!!!!!This is not good!

Anonymous said...

OK LOOK AT THE JAIL WHY ARE THEY HAVING MEALS CATERED IN AND NOT COOKING IN THE JAIL. ASK WHAT THE MEALS ARE I INMATES EAT BETTEER THAN WE DO. SHERIFF HAS BEEN KNOWN TO SAY HIS JOB IS A PAIN IN HIS A$$ HE JUST DOES IT ALONG WITH HIS DEPUTIES ( WAIT DID I TELL YOU THEY ARE RETIRED COPS) ARE JUST THERE TO ADD TO THEIR BIG RETIREMENTS THAT'S RIGHT --WOW WISH I HAD THAT I GO SHIV WHEN MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY FROM WORKING WITH THE COUNTY IN FACT I LOST 45,000 DOLLARS OF HIS RETIREMENT THE COUNTY KEEP ... SO WAKE UP PEOPLE LOOK AT THE SALARYS BUT WAIT WHO APPROVES THEY NOT THE TAXPAYERS ... NOT YOU APPROVE YOUR OWN MUST BE NICE

Anonymous said...

who pays for the 2000.00 i lost in my401k in last few months? where is all the money that potter co. has gotten from all the oil co drilling,wrecking our roads & water? the money if any, must in someone els pocket not the tax payers,im sick of it.

Anonymous said...

10:28. Please click on your Cap Locks button. Please put that in English. I have no idea what you are trying to say. The sheriff is an elected office and the voters have the opportunity each four years to decide if they want the incumbent in there (if he runs again) or if they want somebody else. Catered meals? I though they prepared the meals right in the jail. Maybe I am a crazy liberal for saying this but I think it is only humane to provide proper nutrition for inmates. It might even be the law.

Anonymous said...

Found this online.
One mill: one-tenth of one-percent of a property's assessed value.
Assessed value is not a property's current value. Rather it is the value at the time all real estate was assessed.
My home (in the metropolis of downtown Roulette) has an assessed value of about $22,000 this year (it is on your tax bill if you want to look). It is a pretty decent home. Probably more valuable that most and not as valuable as some. My calculator says one mill on that value is $22 for the year or a little over 42 cents a week. Is that what we're complaining about?

Just Me said...

lol@ Andy Watson rubberstamping ,, so true, next election I hope both the DA & the Judge are replaced. Blame them for the jail mess. A few I know could of been out on work release & a lot I know get chumped sentences over silly probation violations. Yes GO ANDY GO AND DON'T EVER LOOK BACK! Justice is supposed to be fair, NOT HOW MANY CHUMPED UP CONVICTIONS YOU CAN AQUIRE and taking little charges and building them up to felonies.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Marcellus Shale was pumping money into the economy?

Where do the funds go from all of the deed transfers from the Marcellus Shale rush ?

Why is there a need to raise taxes in light of all this money that is supposedly coming into the area?

Who got that?

Female criminals?...blame the woman...pathetic!

They are peeing on our leg and telling us it's raining... again.

PLEASE SOMEONE RUN AGAINST THEM NEXT ELECTION...ANYONE!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Paul, Susan, Doug....Where's the Marcellus money?.....


*crickets*

Laurie Barr

Anonymous said...

on top of absurdedly high taxes and water and sewage bills i say good job comissioners and will see you at the polls
can't even buy a pair of shoes in potter county in under 45 minutes come on.

Anonymous said...

NEVER VOTE FOR AN INCUMBENT... NEVER! ALWAYS FIND SOMEONE NEW TO DO THE JOB... ONCE SOMEONE SITS IN A POSITION THEY LEARN TO REFIGURE THINGS. A FRESH PERSON HAS TO FIX WHAT THE LAST PERSON HAS DONE... REMEMBER THAT... ALWAYS VOTE FOR SOMEONE NEW!!! just saying..

Anonymous said...

Didn't the county recently hire a Geographic Information Systems (mapping) specialist?
Was a needed position/expense before the Marcellus drilling?

Female criminals....hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between meeting the inmates nutritional needs and overindulging in gourmet meals that could easily feed 2 normal people.

Anonymous said...

I don't own a home but my heart bleeds so bad for those of you who are blessed to own a home and have to pay a whole 42 cents more a week. Hope you don't have to take out a second mortgage so you can somehow scrape together that six cents a day.

Anonymous said...

That Geographic Information Systems position is at the EMA and is paid out of 9-1-1 and not the county. That way when there is an emergency the agencies will be able to know where they are going and what they will find when they get there. It might save a life -- maybe even YOURS. Ask a volunteer firefighter what he thinks about having the 9-1-1 addresses accurate. And while you are at it, thank him (or her) for their service.

Anonymous said...

Marcellus money?
There will be no Marcellus money until those bought-off hacks in Harrisburg get off their behinds and pass a law that requires these gas companies to start paying just a little tiny amount in taxes.
Marcellus money? It is in the bank deposits of the energy companies and the back pockets of the elected officials in Harrisburg.
Does that answer your question?

Anonymous said...

The county cannot tax the shale oil people any more than you and I can. What an inane statement to ask the county commissioners about. Crime has increased dramatically in the last year or so and you can charge the criminals all you want but they probably wont pay(or even have it to pay). After all they are "criminals".
sheeesh

Anonymous said...

At 11:06 you sound like you are defending criminal behavior or thinking it should be winked at. Perhaps it is a subject you are quite familiar with?

Anonymous said...

The County gets fees for title transfers and permitting. It seems this money is insufficient to cover the added costs of the shale exploration.

To me, asking why raising taxes in light of the (as sold to us citizens) "BOOM" from gas exploration, is a very pertinent question to ask.

Anonymous said...

12:42:00 PM
Asking about the Marcellus money, is a question that needs to be asked and answered.
It appears, the commissioners have welcomed the Marcellus Shale development regardless of the cost to the environment,home values, public health risks posed,
In the name of the economic benefits.

The Marcellus money needs to be included in a discussion about raising taxes.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing a lot of people that will be running for office next year. I don't like it, but there are certain expenses that need to be met. I am looking forward to seeing many new names on the ballots next year. There are solutions, and there are people doing what they do best, run their mouths and sit back and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

"The commissioners have welcomed the Marcellus Shale development."
WTF?
The commissioners have nothing to do with that private industry making its private investments under regulations that are the state's responsibility.
Also, even if the commissioners did have any responsibility or authority, what makes you say they have "welcomed the Marcellus Shale development?"
How exactly does someone with no authority or responsibility even do that?
I have followed this issue through the Task Force meetings and other public statements and such on the impact fee issue, water protection and other issues, and it is my opinion that the commissioners have played it pretty much down the middle or maybe leaned more in the direction of environment and taxation than in the direction of "welcoming" the industry, whatever that means. But either way it seems to be a pretty close call.
I am basing that opinion as a "tree-hugger" as some people would like to call me and I have appreciated their efforts toward education and giving people the opportunity to become informed, plus supporting the Watershed Coalition and the training for the water monitor volunteers and let's not forget the Conservation District and Planning Commission and helping with Emergency Responder training.
So what do you mean with your comment?

Anonymous said...

Anyone that can remember history, note that most commissioners have failed in their personal business or worked for someone else. Then, as now they run the country without a clue as to what is going on. Rather than be fiscally responsible...raise taxes is their answer. I have no one supporting my retirement account.

Anonymous said...

It's their fault that there are now 50 inmates at the jail instead of the 25 or so there used to be, right?
You may have no one supporting your retirement account but the people who worked for the county and eventually retired paid into that account and accepted employment under those conditions. And the payments are legally required when the fund has a bad year, which doesn't happen to often. But what does your retirement account have to do with it? Let's hear from one of those retirees on here telling everyone the fact that the county retirees have not received an increase in their benefits in probably 20 years. The retirement account that you have has nothing to do with this.

Anonymous said...

This morning I logged on here and only saw about a half dozen comments from people who are clueless about what they are even writing about. Now they are coming out of the wall. I wonder how many of them will be lined up on Monday morning to actually see the budget so that they know what they are talking about, or is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

we should put the crooks in the nursing homes and our elderly in jail. people in jail are treated far better then our parents and grandparents in nursing homes.

Anonymous said...

12;32 dec 3 Sounds like you work for the county! EMA is a joke! it's been how many years and the firefighters and ambulance personal still don't have correct street maps and addresses! And yes living in Austin is crazy! High water / sewer bills! High garbage bills! Out of control taxes! The real kick in the ass is seeing how much money the borough council and school board waste!

Anonymous said...

I am praying that no school students are reading this as a lesson in representative government. How many people writing comments on here understand even a little about local government? So many issues being raised here have absolutely nothing to do with the county government. This is embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

EMA is a joke, huh?
Do you know that there is a Citizen Corps, a Local Emergency Planning Committee and there are always extra oars for anyone who wants to help the volunteer fire departments and ambulance companies try to keep rowing their boats as the current gets stronger and stronger. Just think 5:47, you could be part of the solution instead of some nobody sitting on his (probably fat) ass taking pot shots at people who actually do something for their communities? I wonder how much of a joke EMA will be if there is a fire or another emergency in YOUR life? Thanks a lot there buddy -- for nothing!

Anonymous said...

There are many ways to trim personnel costs for the county, but it requires courage and firm management skills. The commissioners have neither. They serve as rubber stamps for the agencies and have no system in place for accountability or performance evaluations. There are also positions easily contracted out, but that's never mentioned at the commissioners' meetings. Distance learning and training by video? Why bother, when you can just submits requests for hotels and lodging in Harrisburg. Read the minutes posted here of the monthly meetings and follow the vibe. Tons of ways to save, but don't expect it from this crew.

Anonymous said...

If the county has some sort of GIS mapping then why are the tax maps so bad? I went over to pay my taxes and to look at my property on the map and was like what is this the 1950s?? I look on line at other countys and they have nice maps that you can get on your computer.

Anonymous said...

You know what's sad? I read a story in the Bradford Era about this same meeting and there was a very interesting summary of all the services now available to our military veterans and the expansion of the veteran's medical clinic in Coudersport. All I am reading about here is a nickel and dime pissing contest by people who don't even know what they're talking about. Where's the report on the veteran's services? I will pay my extra 42 cents a week in taxes for better veteran's services thank you.

Anonymous said...

The GIS mapping is funded through 9-1-1 and is limited to EMA. Maybe you want to raise taxes more and put on another employee for GIS in the courthouse for the Tax Office or Deeds Office? Let's see, $40,000 and benefits sounds like about $60,000 for one year or close to a quarter-million for four years. Then you can have your newfangled computer maps 7:04. We'll pay the bill for you.

Anonymous said...

You people put them in there so quit your complaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's see. Paul travels the country on our money for information on gas drilling. He probably writes some of the chapters in his book while flying in the air.
Doug is hard to find at any given day.
Susan, what do you do for your pay?

I sleep well at night knowing I didn't vote for any of these people. Maybe some people will have the guts to run against them. Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

Based on the comments I have read on here, a person would have to be nuts to want to be a commissioner in Potter County. The citizens (or at least the ones who write on here) uneducated, crude and do not even understand their own county government. Is there any chance that there's a silent majority out there that outnumbers the uninformed, bitter, petty people writing comments on here?

Anonymous said...

So just who did you vote for 8:49? (This ought to be good).

Anonymous said...

5:58 people doing something for their communities? The ema is nothing more than people sucking up a government funded paycheck! I have never seen ema at a fire or on an ambulance call! As for being a Volunteer I live in the Austin area where some of the so called volunteers get paid while (helping) their communities!

Anonymous said...

If Paul would quit spending his time writing for an area newspaper and writing all the press releases and books he might get something constructive done. Since when does the county need a full time reporter-commissioner? Maybe we should think about that the next election.

Solomon's words for the wise said...

Maybe we should all be extremely thankful, considering how much everything has gone up, that our excellent county commissioners were able to hold the tax increase to one mill.

The pension fund is managed by professional managers, thus is beyond their control; the expenses at the jail are as a result of a bad economy and more crime.

I may be the only one, but I think they have done a great job as commissioners, and Paul has been an excellent communicator to keep his county informed as to what is going on in the county government and keeping everyone aware of information affecting the county.

But then, I don't have any intentions to run for their jobs.
Jim

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the excellent communications and openness we have with these commissioners. I had dealings with Doug Morley many years ago when I had my own business and he persuaded me that to hold off on taking a chance. It was the best advice I have ever had. I am certain Doug has brought excellent business and financial management skills that the county hasn't seen in a long time. I have my past bills and I hope you join me on a trip into history. County taxes were frozen in 2007, frozen in 2008, frozen in 2009, went up one mill in 2010 (that cost me an extra 36 cents a week), frozen in 2011. And they are going to go up a whopping 36 cents a week next year or a whole nickel a day. Gee whiz. Time to impeach somebody. Get real!

Anonymous said...

Why don't all you complainers pray for your commissioners there in your county instead of criticizing them, my goodness have a heart & get on your knees & do some serious PRAYING! Shame on you's!

Anonymous said...

7.59 Vetrans services, What a joke. About a year ago in Coudersport a 100% Service connected vet (With PTSD Issues) Called the VA Hotline in BAth for help. The local Cow boys (Coudersprt, Austin, Sweden Vally, and the state police) Come and split the vets head open. I understand 20+ staples to close it.
No proper police report was filed. Rep. martin Causers office was notified (It does not appear that a thing was done or said?) Andy Watson filed charges against this Vet (Without a police report?) Vets services LOL LOL LOL. ya right. This is the local Gov and Judical inforcment system we are paying for. Shell out more money for the crazy politicans to get good pentions and cover up police assive use of force.

Anonymous said...

While you are at it, why don't you ask the DA why he is taking everything to trial. I have seen some ridiculous, very minor, charges at trial these days. Here is a man who promises no plea deals for drug or sex cases. I have seen a few of these too. If you want to save the county some money get DA Watson out. Get someone in there who is a little more in touch with reality instead of playing his superhero role.

Anonymous said...

I thought the commissioners were to be servants of the people.

Since when do servants make more then their masters?

Anonymous said...

I just got into this comment string and my God I could have a field day, but I better just stick to the past 3 or 4 comments. I hope that nobody who is thinking about moving to Potter County or starting a business here or trying to get involved in public or community affairs is reading this. Is this Appalachian West Virginia (where learnin' is seen as pretty much a waste of time)?

12:51: yes prayer is fine, but don't expect too many people on here to have faith in God, much less any trust or faith in elected officials to actually have some dedication to doing the best job they can.

12:18: you sound like you are none too stable and whatever you're blabbering about has nothing to do with this.

10:28: that's a stupid cliche which is irrelevant to the budget, taxes and the price of tea in China. anyone with a brain the size of a pea or larger knows that you have to provide at least a livable salary to attract people with the competence, intelligence, judgment and experience to fill certain jobs and we have done pretty well with this board.

It will be a good thing when this string fades down into the bowels of this blog so Potter County doesn't continue to embarrass itself with uninformed, negative rubbish such as I have been reading here for the last 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

2:48 sounds like you oughta move out of Potter County, God's Country!

Anonymous said...

2:48 I always read signs coming into Potter County, God's Country & try praying yourself if you are that upset with your commissioners, there is power in prayer & you will be amazed at what prayer can do!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dec 3, 10:16--Is that what Potter County ended up with? "NUTS" And Jim I hope you are Correct in your statement for Potter County.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers should NOT have to bear the burden of someones pension plan-at this day and age, anyone LEFT with a pension plan should be happy. Due to company downsizing my husband and I may soon be forced to cash in our meager retirement savings just to survive and be able to pay our TAXES so that someone else can keep ADDING to theirs. Then again maybe we can just go on welfare on the TAXPAYERS dollar. This is just plain ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the large building in the middle of town (Adelphia used to own) is being sold, however the buyer insists "we" waive the taxes as we did with the Call Center (Emperon). To my knowledge this is being approved. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all waive our taxes. If this new company would pay taxes, just as we do,...then maybe the taxes would not need to increase for the next few years. What happens when TWC and Level3 finds out...will they ask to have their taxes waived also...to keep them in town and keep them employing the people they do?

Anonymous said...

You people should be asking the commissioners why you are paying taxes and your neighbors aren't. They have no assesser and there is a lot of real estate not paying one cent. Especially new construction or additions.

Mad Mike said...

Jim, I understand that we're dealing with good people but let's face it...times are tight for everyone. I understand that here in Potter county, we're always in a recession, and usually we stand tall during national economic adversity.

However, over the last few years everyone is feeling the affects. When the federal government is overspending tax dollars at a disgusting pace, we (blue collar America) should lead by example, and cut costs...even if it hurts. The common cliche, "live within your means" is common because it's true. I can't run my house the way the government runs theirs. I'm held accountable lawfully and by my own moral compass.

Why is it when it comes to cutting costs, more programs suddenly become essential, and small pockets of people are heard over the majority? The liberal bandwagon starts rolling and the liberals jump on. Crime is high because of the current crisis. The current crisis was caused because federal and local governments are intent on spending us into oblivion.

TELLING people that they need to give more money to fix the mistakes of our politicians is not the answer. The people need to redesign the machine so it's more efficient.

Anonymous said...

Gee that's funny 8:06. We live in Sweden Township and just today were informed that an assessor from the county tax office is in our township logging any new construction, additions and such. How does that square with what you just wrote on here?