York County passes 2023 budget with no tax increase

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York County will ring in the new year with an on-time budget — and no tax increase for residents.

At its final meeting of the year, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $693 million budget without a tax increase. Last year's budget process resulted in the first countywide tax hike since 2017.

That means the tax rate will stay at 6.9 mils, or $6.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The average York County homeowner with a property assessment of $135,105 currently pays a $797 tax bill.

"I think it's nice that we got a balanced budget without any tax increases. Certainly, that's good for our community and it serves the needs of all of our organizations," Chief Clerk Greg Monskie said after the passage of the budget on Wednesday. "I'm happy we got there."

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The budget passed represents a $25 million increase over last year's budget, which raised the county's tax rate for the first time in five years. Chief Financial Officer Tyler Chronister said federal COVID-19 aid via the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) helped the county increase revenue without a corresponding tax increase.

"They did a good job," Commissioner Doug Hoke said of the team that crafted the budget.

It was the first budget for both Chronister and Monskie, who were promoted into their respective positions after Mark Derr's retirement earlier this year. Derr had been contracted to provide assistance on the budget during the budget process.

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"It passed unanimously, no tax increase, good thing," Commissioner Ron Smith said after the meeting.

In other business, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve a contract with York Fiber LLC to provide last-mile broadband services in the Initial Service Areas of New Freedom, Railroad, Glen Rock and Seven Valleys Boroughs.

York County already approved a contract with Lit Communities in June of this year. York Fiber is a subsidiary of that company.

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"We've been negotiating with them and as part of that, they're basically creating York Fiber LLC to operate this local project," Monskie said, after the meeting. "That's how they engage in these public-private partnerships, they will create a subsidiary company to contract with."

Lit Communications did not respond to a request for comment.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.