Springettsbury Twp. proposing 50 percent property tax hike
The Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a 50 percent increase in the municipal real estate tax.
The proposal to raise the millage rate from 1.1 to 1.7 is primarily an effort to eliminate an approximately $1 million structural deficit that the township has been operating with the past 10 years, according to township manager Ben Marchant.
The proposed 2018 budget — set for a vote at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14, at the township's office — projects expenditures to outpace revenues by about $1.16 million, according to a budget presentation posted on the township website.
Marchant said the township has been relying on reserves and borrowing to bridge that gap in the past, but the board decided it wants to close the deficit this year.
If the increase is approved, 2018 would mark the third time in the past four years that Springettsbury Township's board has voted the increase the municipal millage rate.
The rate sat at 0.87 mills from 2009 through 2014 before being raised to 1.0 mills in 2015 and 1.1 mills in 2016. A 1.7 millage rate would represent a $170 tax on a home assessed at $100,000.
Marchant said he couldn't speculate on any need for tax increases in the future, but the township's goal is to continue to deliver the highest services possible for the least amount of cost to taxpayers.
The township also has looked to increase revenue through grants, raising the quarterly sewer fee and revising the fee schedule for developments to ensure the fees cover the cost of inspections, Marchant said.
Eliminating the structural deficit will help the township plan future infrastructure investments, including improved transportation maintenance and stormwater management, Marchant added.
Marchant said some residents have expressed an interest in building a library and community center, though those are not township priorities at this time.
— Reach David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.