No tax hike for 2018, Delco council announces
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.”
Mario J. Civera is chairman of Delaware County Council.