Before the York City Council voted Tuesday evening on final passage of a bill laying claim to money raised by the realty transfer tax, council Vice President Michael Helfrich voiced his opinion against it one more time.

"I think it's completely wrong," he said.

Council President Carol Hill-Evans joined him in voting against the bill, but it passed, 3-2.

The city is entitled to a 1 percent tax on transfers of realty deeds, with some exceptions, but it had been ceding the revenue from the tax to its school district in a "gentleman's agreement." This bill will end that arrangement, with the city claiming the revenue itself.

This will take effect in July, bringing in $150,000 for the city through the end of the year, and then $300,000 each year thereafter.

"I don't understand why the city of York has to take money from the school district," Helfrich said Tuesday night. "We don't have dire needs, in my opinion."

With the money the city gets, the council restored about $20,000 in salary and associated costs it had cut from the Human Relations Commission's budget, about $71,000 in salary and associated costs that had been cut from the Department of Community and Economic Development and $25,000 in overtime costs that had been cut from the wastewater treatment plant's budget.

On Dec. 15, the council rejected to claim the tax, but before the end of the year it came to an agreement with Mayor Kim Bracey, who had vetoed the budget the council had passed.

School district board members have voiced opposition to the city's laying claim to the tax revenue.

The budget passed at the end of the year totaled $42,998,155.

— Reach Sean Cotter at

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