York County Council has adopted a budget of about $470 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1, a decrease from 2017’s budget by about $80 million.
The budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 was over $550 million.
The new budget raises the county tax rate by 2.8 mills. That means someone who owns a house worth $100,000 would owe an additional $11.20 in property taxes.
The increased taxes would go to the county’s general fund to pay the county’s general obligation debt in 2024, and to provide a merit-based raise to county employees, according to a York County statement.
The average raise would be a 2.5 percent increase, the statement says.
“I want to say thank you to our Council for approving a raise for employees,” York County manager Bill Shanahan said in the statement. “By doing this, council verifies that our employees are our most valuable asset.”
The raises will be completely merit-based, the statement, released Monday, said. The budget was adopted June 18.
“This allows the County to reward the employees who are performing well; while, at the same time provide an incentive to those who are not,” Shanahan said.
The council also approved new positions in the county operations, the solicitor’s office, the sheriff’s office, the rural fire board and water and sewer, the statement says.
“I’m very pleased with this budget,” Shanahan said. “The budget is balanced and focuses on the 2018 strategic goals Council has set forth; as well as, it positions the County to be even stronger financially in the future.”
The county statement highlighted two key initiatives of the budget: paying off the general obligation debt in 2024 by increasing property taxes until then, and supporting a reserve fund to allow the county to pay for capital items annually.
The county estimates the plan to pay of the general obligation debt in 2024 will “instantly save taxpayers approximately $9 million,” the statement says. The county will raise the tax rate by 2 mills this fiscal year and by 3 mills thereafter until 2024, the statement says.