York County adopts $236.3 million budget, keeps taxes flat in 2021

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The York County Board of Commissioners adopted a 2021 budget Wednesday with no tax increase and no major changes from the preliminary budget, thanks to a $10 million surplus in the 2020 budget that will cushion an economic blow from COVID-19.

The 2021 tax rate will remain at 5.9 mills. For a property assessed at $100,000, the county tax bill would be $590, and $1,062 for a home assessed at $180,000.

That millage includes 0.1 mills for land preservation and 0.09 mills for library funds.

"It's great to have a balanced budget going into 2021," Commissioner Julie Wheeler said Wednesday.

The extra $10 million allowed the county to balance its 2021 general fund budget of $236.3 million.

York County celebrates its 270th birthday by lighting the domes on top of the York County Administrative Center, Monday, August 19, 2019. The lighting of the domes concluded a day of tours of the center and the ringing of the bells. John A. Pavoncello photo

But the 2020 surplus — achieved thanks to the efforts of county officials to cut operating expenses this year, plus federal coronavirus aid — will only go so far, county administrator Mark Derr has said, and the county will likely need to entertain a tax increase, cuts to services or some combination of both for 2022.

COVID-19 has hit state coffers hard, with revenues in 2020 missing projections by $3.2 billion, officials have said.

Local governments were not immune to the impact. York City, for example, faces a tax hike up to 9.25 mills if it can't sell its wastewater treatment plant, Mayor Michael Helfrich has said.

And boroughs and municipalities across the county have had to cut services, dip into their reserve funds and raise taxes to make ends meet next year.

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