No tax increase proposed for 2018 York County budget

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016--Mark Derr, York County administrator. Bill Kalina photo

York County commissioners are expecting to pass the county's 2018 budget next month with no property tax increase.

County administrator Mark Derr presented the preliminary budget plan Wednesday, Nov. 15, with a request to budget for more than $241 million in total revenue and more than $244 million in total expenses.

That $3 million difference will be funded through a drawdown of cash reserves, with 2017 revenues projected to outpace expenses by more than $4.3 million, Derr explained.

The avoidance of a property tax increase should come as a relief to residents who saw the county increase property taxes by about 14 percent in 2016 and another 12 percent in 2017.

The tax increase last year ended up being more than what Derr projected during his preliminary budget plan, but he said Wednesday that he's confident no tax increase will be needed this year.

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Derr said part of the reason commissioners approved such a large tax increase last year was to avoid another increase this year.

The county is expected to see an increase of more than $12.5 million in expenses for 2018 compared to the 2017 budget, according to the preliminary plan.

Derr explained that about $6 million of that increase is from higher prison costs, which include a new roof, staffing changes and a management reorganization recommended by a consultant from the state Department of Corrections.

Other increased expenses include spending that wasn't necessarily included in the general fund budget summary in past years, but those expenses are often offset by revenue sources that also weren't included in previous general fund budgets, Derr said.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.