Town­ship to cut taxes

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt [email protected]­tu­ry­ @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

NEW HANOVER >> Prop­erty taxes to sup­port the gen­eral fund have not been raised in this town­ship in 25 years.

It’s been 16 years since town­ship prop­erty taxes were raised for any pur­pose at all.

While that’s good news, the news is about to get even bet­ter.

The $3.9 mil­lion bud­get that will be ad­ver­tised for 2019 will cut taxes by 5.5 per­cent.

Granted, it will save the av­er­age home­owner — with a home as­sessed at $157,000 — about $12 a year, but when was the last time your prop­erty taxes went down?

Town­ship Man­ager Jamie Gwynn said the cut was made pos­si­ble “by a lot of small de­ci­sions be­ing made by this board (of su­per­vi­sors) that re­ally add up.”

As an ex­am­ple, he pointed to the board de­ci­sion to shift in­sur­ance to the Delaware Val­ley In­sur­ance Trust, which means med­i­cal in­sur­ance will only go up by 3.6 per­cent in 2019, rather than the usual 10 to 15 per­cent.

Switch­ing banks from BB&T, “where we were get­ting low in­ter­est and pay­ing bank fees, to Vic­tory Bank where we are get­ting a higher in­ter­est and pay no fees” was an­other good de­ci­sion, one worth $100,000, Gwynn said.

Elim­i­nat­ing the fi­nance di­rec­tor po­si­tion and us­ing Dal­las Data in Pottstown saved tax­pay­ers about $43,000.

No sav­ings was too small, said Gwynn, not­ing that con­sol­i­dat­ing small ser­vice con­tracts with the town­ship and town­ship author­ity saved a few thou­sand dol­lars.

“You put them all to­gether, it re­ally adds up,” he said.

It helps that the gen­eral fund’s re­serve is close to $3 mil­lion, but it also helps that ef­forts by his staff and de­ci­sions by the board mean 2018 looks likely to end with a sur­plus of nearly $200,000.

“Our ex­penses for 2019 will be about the same as they were in 2015,” Gwynn said.

Rev­enues con­tinue to in­crease, mostly due to the in­creased pop­u­la­tion in the 75 to 100 homes where are con­structed each year, and the earned in­come taxes of the peo­ple who live in those homes, said Gwynn.

Also on the rise is the as­sessed value of those homes, mean­ing the cur­rent mill­age of 1.68 mills gen­er­ates more rev­enue on higher val­ues. Un­der the 2019 bud­get, that mill­age will be cut to 1.587, bring­ing the av­er­age town­ship prop­erty tax bill from $262 down to $250, he said.

The board au­tho­rized the ad­ver­tise­ment of the bud­get by unan­i­mous vote at its Nov. 1 meet­ing, said Gwynn.

Fi­nal adop­tion of the bud­get will oc­cur next month.

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