York County residents see first tax increase since 2017: Here's what you'll pay

Staff report

Homeowners will see their first countywide tax hike since 2017 as the York County commissioners approved a 1-mill rate increase Wednesday.

York County's $668 million budget calls for a slightly lower-than-expected tax increase, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said, due to the work of various county employees and department heads.

"The county spent a lot of time looking at other areas where we could curtail some expenses," she said.

Nonetheless, the county's expenses have been outpacing revenues — a predicament that will ultimately be solved by property owners.

The average York County homeowner with a property assessment of $135,105 currently pays a $797.12 tax bill. The approved tax increase means they would pay an additional $135.11 next year.

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In total, the new millage rate is 6.9, including 0.10 mill for land preservation and 0.09 as a dedicated library tax.

In a previous interview, County Administrator Mark Derr said the salaries and benefits for the county's employees make up the largest expenditures for the county's general fund. Wages alone are about $85 million, costs that increase — on average — 3% a year. Benefits cost roughly $47 million per year, with health care costs representing $24 million of that figure.

"Most of those are contractually obligated increases," Derr said. "The majority of our employees are covered by union contracts, and a lot of those union contracts are decided by arbitrators and are awarded to the union employees." 

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For example, health care for county employees increased roughly 10% last year.

To view the 2022 budget, visit the York County website, yorkcountypa.gov/. A hard copy is available at the county administration building at 28 E. Market St. in York.