No tax increase in county's 2019 budget

The York County Board of Commissioners approved the county's 2019 budget without a tax increase. This marks the second straight year the commissioners were able to balance the budget without increasing taxes.

A balanced budget denotes fiscal responsibility. This results from careful attention to line items across all of the county's 50 departments by their directors, supervisors and employees.

This year's general fund budget accounts for $252.6 million in expenses out of an overall budget of $574 million. The 2019 budget reflects a decrease of more than $62 million this year from the amount that was projected for 2018. That difference is primarily because of the sale of Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The nursing home line item decreased from a forecast of $50.5 million in 2018 to $1.5 million in 2019. Because of the elimination of a roughly $8 million subsidy to Pleasant Acres, the increase in the general fund budget was relatively minor for 2019.

Nearly 60 percent of the general fund revenues are made up of real estate taxes, one of the few revenues the county controls and can increase as necessary to provide the programs and services for our residents. The 2017 tax increase was designed to carry us through 2017 and 2018, but when you look at 2017's taxes, 2018's forecasted amount and the 2019 requested amount, the growth in real estate tax revenue is relatively flat at just over 1 percent. This is due partly to a lack of new residential, commercial and industrial development as well as the settlement of assessment appeals. Due to the on-going assessment appeals and other reasons, a countywide reassessment is imminent.

For more information about the 2019 budget, read the narrative from Mark Derr, county administrator.

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