MOUNT CARMEL - There is no tax increase expected in the proposed 2013 general operating budget for Mount Carmel Borough, according to President Tony Matulewicz.

There are currently 32 1/4 mills in total for borough taxpayers, which consists of 27 mills reserved for the general fund, 2 1/2 mills for street improvements, 2 1/2 mills reserved for street lights and 1/4-mill for the library.

Taxes have remained the same since 2007, Matulewicz said.

"No one has mentioned a tax increase. I think this might be the only year it's off the table," he said. The budget was balanced in 2012, and the borough will be ending this year with a $150,000 surplus, as well as saving at least $25,000 due to the retirement of five employees.

The positions of police chief, transportation director and three street workers were all left vacant this year due to retirements.

The chief of police position was given a decrease in pay of 65 cents from $26.15 to $25.50; the street workers were reduced to two employees and borough treasurer Megan Janolek was given a stipend to take over transportation duties.

This was also the first year borough council set the benefit contribution of all non-uniformed borough employees at 20 percent. The employees previously contributed nothing toward their health care coverage.

With the borough's contribution to pension and health care increasing again this year, the changes equal approximately $25,000 in savings, Matulewicz said.

The only raises this year for employees are the contracted police raises, which equal 35 cents in 2013. Police took a pay freeze in 2011 and an increase of 25 cents in 2012.

Total expenditures are projected at $1,661,993.53 and total revenue at $1,573,338.86.

There appears to be a $88,655 budget hole, but Matulewicz said there was an error made in the line items somewhere, and the final budget will be changed and balanced.

The proposed budget was voted on at the Nov. 15 regular meeting in a block of agenda items, and was not discussed among the board members.

"We're ahead, but not by that much," Matulewicz said.

The final budget is expected to be voted on at the Dec. 20 regular meeting.