York County Council mulls 5.2 mill tax increase, 3 percent raise for employees

Posted May 7, 2014 10:51 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

York County property taxes may be on the rise this summer — but some smart budgeting by York County’s new County Manager will lessen the likely blow to taxpayers.

County staff unveiled their latest draft of the 2014-15 financial plan last night that calls for $95 million in expenses, down four percent from this year.

Among the notable expenditures: a three percent cost of living raise for all county employees, six new hires and 48 reclassified personnel totaling $130,692 in raises.

The county also spends on replacing the roof at the Moss Justice Center, additional preservation and renovations of the Historic Courthouse in York and a 36,000 square foot addition to the county recycling center.

Additional ongoing projects include the McCelvey Center renovations, work at the Register of Deeds office and a roof replacement at the Law Enforcement Training Center complex.

County Manager Bill Shanahan recommends a 5.2 mill increase and pulling $1.14 million from the county’s reserve fund balance.

York County currently has $37,127,277 in reserves and with the proposed $1.14 million withdrawal this year, would be remain $11.4 million in excess of the 25 percent target level. The 25 percent target level is one-fourth of the proposed budget and is a key figure in lowering the county’s bond rating, contributing to lower interest rates. In recent years, York County Council has pulled from excesses in the fund balance to give employees one-time bonuses.

“He’s showing a budget that’s about $95 million versus last year’s $99 million — and that’s with a three percent pay raise,” County Council chairman Britt Blackwell said, noting Shanahan’s streamlining of the next year’s budget. “The County Manager is doing his part in making sure it’s a lean, efficient budget.”

Blackwell says he is pleased to see county employees receive a three percent raise, but would have preferred a pay-for-performance increase instead. Under the pay for performance guidelines, department heads have the ability to award raises up to three percent to individual employees on a one-on-one basis. As a cost of living increase, all county employees will receive a salary bump.

Under the proposed tax increase, property taxes on a $100,000 non-owner occupied  home would rise by $20.80 a year and for a $100,000 non-owner occupied home or commercial property, by $31.20 per year. Taxes on a $20,000 vehicle would rise by $6.24 per year and taxes on a manufacturing plant worth $2 million would rise by $1,092.