City of York’s budget approved for new fiscal year

YORK – The City of York’s budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The department heads, administration and council has been working on the budget since last spring and the council held a special hearing 1 ½ weeks ago, with final approval last Thursday.

The highlights of this year’s budget are positive, including that the city’s property tax levy will be going down to 28 cents per $100 of valuation. As an example, if a residence has a value of $250,000, the taxes will be $712.50.

“We are proud of the work everyone did to keep it low and 7% in valuation growth is a good sign of growth in the city,” said York City Administrator Sue Crawford, during last week’s hearing. “This should put York’s city tax levy among one of the lowest among First Class cities in the state.”

The city’s valuation, as certified, went from $1,146,097,594 last year to $1,306,699,005 this year.

Other highlights of the budget are that the general fund and operating fund expenses will be going down 7%; the property tax rate is going down 8%; and the property taxes collected for city costs are going down 2%.

The three main capital expenditures that will be taking place in the future is the construction of a new fire station, bonding for turf installation at Levitt Stadium and the land purchase for a new industrial park.

Dr. Crawford said, while reviewing revenues, that property tax in the city makes up only 7%. Twenty-two percent is sales tax, which is important, she said.

When it comes to expenditures, 28% of it goes toward personnel costs.

The city has been using ARPA (federal COVID-relief funds) for replacing all the lead pipe in the municipal system – by the end of the year, there will be no lead pipes in the city, which Dr. Crawford said is “amazing, as many cities are struggling to get rid of these.”

In the sewer budget, about $1.5 million in revenue was built in upon the possibility of federal dollars to expand the facility. That does not impact the rates. A slight rate increase (2 ½%) has been approved, however, to keep up with operations. The increase in the sewer rates was approved by all the council members, with the exception of Jennifer Sheppard who voted no.

A landfill rate change has been approved as well, by a full vote of the council, which is the first in six years. This is to build revenues for cell closures and expansion phases.

She also noted these two funds are self-sustaining and are not subsidized by property tax revenues.

Dr. Crawford explained how the departments took on “value-based budgeting this year, focusing on increasing safety; fiscal responsibility; education/training/succession planning; attention to outreach; and increased retention.”

Taxpayers in York are subject to other levies, of course, besides the city’s. The city’s portion is less than 17% — they also pay into the county, school district, NRD and other taxing entities.

Mayor Barry Redfern thanked “everyone involved in this process, everyone worked hard. This shows good forward thinking, balance and fiscal responsibility.”


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