Taxpayers in Columbia Township have a reason to be happy this year.

Never mind about holding the line on taxes - supervisors have passed a 2013 spending plan that has actually reduced real estate taxes.

Under the budget, real estate taxes went down by 1 mil, from 4 ¾ mils to 3 ¾ mils.

According to township treasurer Chuck Rolison, the township was able to lower the taxes as a result of the Act 13 natural gas impact fee money that it received. The township was allotted $500,000.

"We took advantage of that, and reduced the taxes," he said.

In addition, Rolison said the township eliminated the occupation tax and what he called the township's "personal tax," due to the receipt of the impact fee money.

The township's total revenue for 2013 is budgeted at $862,917, and Rolison said expenses shouldn't exceed revenue.

One project in 2013 for the township is the construction of a shed over the township's garbage dumpsters, with room on the back side for a couple pieces of equipment. Rolison said this was needed.

Also, the township is looking at purchasing equipment, though a final decision hasn't been made yet.

The township's annual organizational meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 in Bradley Hall in Columbia Cross Roads.

Columbia Township includes the towns of Columbia Cross Roads and Austinville.

Elsewhere in western Bradford County, Canton Borough has passed a final 2013 budget with no increase in taxes. Total mills in the borough will stay at 18.39 mils.

In the budget, total revenues for all funds are $683,583 and total expenditures for all funds are $819,208.23.

Council approved 2.5 percent raises for all employees, with the exception of the lifeguards at the pool.

A major project for 2013 in the borough is expected to be the paving of West Union Street. It is scheduled to go out to bid this year. The borough plans to bid out the project with Canton Township. The township plans on doing its end of the street in the township as part of the project.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: