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2016 Preliminary Budget Unveiled

The average York County household would pay $72.24 more in property tax under the preliminary 2016 budget unveiled today during the York County Commissioners’ regular Wednesday meeting.

If approved, the budget would increase County-levied property tax for only the second time in seven years.

Under the 2016 proposal, the millage rate would increase to 5.07 from 4.52. The average household, with a property assessed at $131,345, would pay $665.92 in real estate taxes, an increase from $593.68 in 2015.

The proposed $532.5 million budget includes general fund expenses of $212.2 million, an increase of 7.8 percent compared to 2015.

Administrator Mark Derr said the County is facing financial pressure on a variety of fronts, including:

  • Health Care: The County, which is self-insured for health care, is expecting health care costs to rise by $4.6 million compared to the 2015 budget. The growth is fueled by a surge in claims combined with the rising costs of providing care. The increase comes despite plan changes that increased employee contributions and encouraged more cost-conscious health care choices.
  • Pension Contributions: The County’s required contribution to its pension plan is increasing by $2.5 million compared to the 2015 budget.
  • Children, Youth & Families: The County’s portion of the cost to operate the Office of Children, Youth & Families will increase by $1.8 million. The increase is largely due to increased staffing and other costs associated with the series of child protective services laws passed in 2014.
  • Pleasant Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center: The County’s subsidy to the nursing home will increase by $1.5 million, to a projected $7.7 million.
  • The inability to refinance additional debt, which generated approximately $7 million in revenue in 2015.
  • $840,000 in additional debt costs associated with the new 911 radio system under development. The new system was necessitated by a 2012 federal law requiring the County to change its frequency band.

To help offset some of the negative impacts, the budget does not include about $124,000 in 2016 funding requested by County departments. Special allocations would be held at 2015 levels.

The general fund budget also includes an investment of approximately $808,000 in capital expenses. The vast majority of the funding will be used to replace aging vehicles.

The final budget is slated for approval on Wednesday, Dec. 23. It will be available on the County’s website (http://yorkcountypa.gov) and at the Commissioners’ Office for public review.

Note: Click here to view historical millage rate data and an explanation of how individuals can calculate their own property taxes.

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