Will York City pass a budget before the end-of-year deadline?

Noel Miller
York Dispatch

Tuesday marks York City Council's last chance to approve a budget at a regularly scheduled council meeting amid confusion over a series of amendments.

If no budget is approved, city officials would need to hold a special meeting to pass a budget before the Dec. 31 deadline. In recent years, that city neared the precipice of a government shutdown several times.

The budget process came to a halt after the Dec. 6 council meeting as elected officials faced a raft of amendments and conflicting votes.

"Confusion occurred last week because this [two budgets on the agenda] has never happened before," Council President Sandie Walker said

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Council decided to table the budget discussion to get additional time to review the 1,000 amendments.

The first three items on Tuesday's agenda are a resolution to approve the amendments, a bill for the final passage of the 2023 budget and a bill for the final passage of the 2023 tax rate, in that order.

York City City Council President Sandie Walker during a Flag Day Celebration at Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden in York City, Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The amendments must go first to determine if the amended budget, which was introduced last week, can be used, Walker said. If the amendments pass, then item two will have the council vote on the amended proposed budget. If the amendments fail, item two will be a vote on the original proposed budget.

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If the amendments pass, York City's budget would total $100 million. If they don't, the original budget called for spending $104 million. Neither proposal would call for a tax increase.

This year's budget process has been unconventional. Mayor Michael Helfrich presented a budget to the council before holding budget hearings due to a backlog of work. That meant that amendments were presented after the budget hearings.

Mayor Micheal Helfrich speaking at the ribbon cutting at Kiwanis Lake in York on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.

Since the last council meeting, Helfrich said he has not received any updates from the council. When asked if he thought the council would approve a budget at the next meeting, Helfrich declined to speculate. He said he'd rather not be asked about what the body intends to do.

York City Council, to Walker's knowledge, has not received any updates or additional communication about the budget from mayor's office.

Tuesday's City Council meeting will be held at City Hall, 101 S George St. and livestreamed on White Rose Community Television and YouTube.

— Reach Noel Miller at NMiller3@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @TheNoelM.