No tax hike for 2018, Delco coun­cil an­nounces

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kath­leen E. Carey kcarey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @dt­busi­ness on Twit­ter

ME­DIA » Delaware County Coun­cil an­nounced Thurs­day there will be no in­crease in county taxes for next year – the fourth con­sec­u­tive year of hold­ing the line on taxes.

But Demo­cratic coun­cil con­tenders pledged to not raise taxes for the next four years and crit­i­cized their GOP op­po­nents.

While stat­ing that the process is on­go­ing, county Coun­cil­man Dave White said there will be no tax in­crease in the bud­get, which is re­quired to be com­pleted by Dec. 31.

“Delaware County is on the move with no tax in­crease for 2018, fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity and more ef­fi­ciency in county gov­ern­ment,” White said. “In Delaware County, we’ve seen growth with the cre­ation of 25,000 new jobs and 500 new busi­ness star­tups over the past few years. The rise in wages in Delaware County far out­paces the sur­round­ing coun­ties.”

White, a Repub­li­can, is cam­paign­ing with John Per­fetti for the two county coun­cil po­si­tions on the Novem­ber bal­lot against Democrats Kevin Mad­den and Brian Zidek. All five mem­bers of coun­cil are Repub­li­cans.

Mad­den and Zidek said res­i­dents here al­ready pay too much and they promised to have no tax in­creases for the next four years, should they be elected.

“Dave White voted to raise taxes twice for Delco tax­pay­ers and there is no amount of smoke and mir­rors that will change that,” Zidek said. “We shouldn’t raise them fur­ther but it is clear we can’t trust Dave White and his ca­bal of cronies not to raise taxes so they can con­tinue lin­ing their pock­ets with our tax dol­lars ... We need to elim­i­nate the waste and cor­rup­tion that defines the payto-play cul­ture of Delco gov­ern­ment and also stop elected of­fi­cials from lin­ing their pock­ets with our tax dol­lars.”

Mad­den mocked White’s state­ment.

“Dave White say­ing he hasn’t raised taxes is like me claim­ing I played cen­ter for the Six­ers last sea­son,” he said. “The amount of tax dol­lars wasted on con­tracts and gov­ern­ment po­si­tions handed out to the cronies of the Delco Repub­li­can ma­chine is as­tound­ing and we can avoid tax in­creases by end­ing the cul­ture of in­sider deal­ings.’

He and Mad­den said tax­pay­ers in Delaware County pay 68 per­cent more than those in Mont­gomery County. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the White/Per­fetti cam­paign have said that is not an ac­cu­rate com­par­i­son as prop­erty val­ues in Mont­gomery County are as­sessed at a dif­fer­ent rate.

White said coun­cil was con­scious about the im­pact of taxes on res­i­dents.

“Keep­ing taxes low for se­niors and oth­ers on fixed in­comes has been a ma­jor pri­or­ity for coun­cil,” he said. “Four con­sec­u­tive years of no-tax-in­crease bud­gets lets tax­pay­ers keep more of their hard-earned money while still de­liv­er­ing needed ser­vices.”

Some of those in­clude pro­vid­ing for the county nurs­ing home, the Fair Acres Geri­atric Cen­ter, and man­ag­ing the county pen­sion funds, which are funded at 100 per­cent.

White noted the county’s bond rat­ings of AA for Stan­dard and Poor’s and Aa1 for Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice.

He said the bud­get process will con­tinue and that the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor and the bud­get direc­tor have been meet­ing for sev­eral months to ex­am­ine all ex­pen­di­tures and rev­enue sources.

“Like every county in the com­mon­wealth, Delaware County faces fi­nan­cial chal­lenges,” White said. “But, so do the hard­work­ing fam­i­lies we serve and the first choice should never be to reach far­ther into their pock­ets ... We will con­tinue to be mind­ful of our spend­ing, tighten our belts like res­i­dents do with their per­sonal bud­gets and be good stew­ards of our res­i­dents’ tax dol­lars.”

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Mario J. Civera is chair­man of Delaware County Coun­cil.

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