Township to cut taxes
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.