Budget Passes With No Tax Increase

Budget Passes With No Tax Increase

Commissioners voted 2-1 to pass the 2014 budget.

EBENSBURG, CAMBRIA COUNTY--- Commissioners voted 2-1 to pass the 2014 budget with no tax increase, but some agencies will see cuts.

Penn Highlands Community College will be getting $150,000 less from the county in 2014.

“I would have voted for the budget if we wouldn’t have taken any money away from the college,” said Tom Chernisky.  “I believe we should not take money from education especially when it’s an economic generator.”

“Penn Highlands had a budget with about $500,000 to replace that $150,000 we took,” said Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder.

“We still give the college over $1 million a year and support it,” said Mark Wissinger.

The cuts were not the only thing elected officials couldn’t agree on Thursday.  They were at odds over the Tax Anticipation Note and loan the county took out to balance its budget.

“This loan is going to save the tax payers $1.2 million,” said Lengenfelder.  “It’s going to reduce the time frame we’re paying this money back.”

County Controller Ed Cernic does not agree with commissioners taking out a loan and says it won’t help the county’s money problems.

‘We still have $3 million in unpaid bills,” said Cernic.

Commissioners blame the decrease in population in the county and said they’re going to work to continue to bring jobs back to the area.

This is the third year commissioners have not raised taxes and 2014 budget is $1.7 million less than 2013’s.

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