Proposed borough budget carries tax increase

Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

The proposed Kane borough budget for 2019 carries a tax increase that hopefully will provide the money needed to hire a fourth full-time police officer.
The Kane Borough Council voted 4-3 Wednesday in favor of the tentative budget, which soon will be available for public inspection at the borough office.
Council voted 5-2 in favor of a tax hike. The proposed new tax rate is 10.5 mills — a jump of .625 mills over this year's rate of 9.875 mills.
If the council adopts the new rate next month, Kane residents will be paying $10.50 in borough taxes for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation. 
The proposed increase amounts to 62.5 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation. This means the owner of a property assessed at $30,000 would pay $18.75 more in borough taxes next year or about $1.56 more per month.
Council President Tom Kase endorsed the proposed budget and tentative higher tax rate along with Councilwomen Katie Johnson, Linda Kerek and Melanie Clabaugh.
Councilmen Gary Schul and David Walker and Councilwoman Shana Snyder cast the three negative votes against the proposed spending plan for 2019.
Walker, however, endorsed the proposed hike in the tax rate. Schul and Snyder cast the only negative votes against the proposed higher tax rate.
Walker explained that he opposed the budget because he wanted to discuss certain items listed in the plan. He backed the proposed tax hike because he supports the need for another full-time police officer.
"How can you put a price on public safety?" Walker said. 
The debate on the proposed budget and a higher tax rate led to some heated remarks.
Snyder said she is "putting my constituents first" by opposing a tax increase. She said Kane is "losing people every day" because of increases in taxes and the sewer rate.
"We can't afford it," she said.
Snyder indicated that she opposes the tax increase to pay for another police officer.
"I feel safe," she said. She said those who don't should "take a gun class."
Snyder called for Kane Borough Manager Don Payne to "take a pay cut" if he believes Kane needs another full-time police officer.
Walker said he can "barely make it" living on social security, but still supports a tax hike to hire another full-time police officer.

For full article, check the Nov. 15, 2018 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican.