Dauphin County passes no-tax increase budget for record 13th straight year

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– The Dauphin County Commissioners approved a $241 million budget for 2018 that doesn’t increase property taxes for a record thirteenth straight year. 

The board cautioned that increasing costs and demand for services will continue to present challenges to the budget, as the county’s current $75 million in borrowed debt is due to be retired by 2024.

Similar to this year’s spending plan, the 2018 budget calls for $12.5 million from reserves, leaving an estimated $25 million by the end of next year.

Commissioners reportedly saved the county about $1 million in salary costs by extending the policy of hiring only once a quarter instead of immediately filling vacancies.

“This board continues to balance the need for conservative budgeting with the corresponding responsibility to provide vital services for our residents,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “We also never stop looking for ways to make our limited resources go farther, which is why we are pursuing a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to force them to help pay for drug treatment and prevention programs.’’

“I’m proud of our board’s record of holding the line on property taxes for a 13th year and of living up to the fiscal leadership our residents expect and deserve,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “This board doesn’t shy away from tough choices, and we weigh the impact to taxpayers with every decision we make.’’

“This board pays attention to details and employs best practices, which has allowed us to deal with an almost 400 percent increase in people needing help to fight addiction without asking for more help from taxpayers,’’ said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “We continue to improve the way we deliver services to maximize our limited resources and keep our most vulnerable residents safe.’’

To view the budget, visit www.DauphinCounty.org.