Repeatedly citing Midland’s “dire” financial situation, state officials on Tuesday night backed emergency actions including the borough entering state-designated distressed status and hiking property taxes a total of 10 mills over last year’s rate to stay solvent.
The revelation of the recommended tax increase was met with some gasps in the borough’s crowded meeting room as consultants with the state Department of Community and Economic Development laid out their findings.
Council members must weigh the tax hike in addition to making deep cuts to staffing and borough services, including whether to keep the community pool open, DCED consultant George Dougherty said. The idea of closing the borough’s pool also didn’t go over well in the room.
The borough’s total debt amount is still unclear because 2019 records are in disarray, Dougherty said. But a five-year DCED analysis found Midland ran annual deficits every year from 2014-18, accumulating to $977,000 during that time, and leaving it with a negative balance of $284,220 at the end of 2018.