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Posted on: December 10, 2017

County Plans Modest Tax Increase for 2018

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HONESDALE (Dec. 10, 2017) --The Wayne County Commissioners have released the proposed 2018 General and Debt Service Budgetfor public inspection. The balanced budget of $31,812,050.18 will be available for inspection in the Wayne County Commissioner’s Office during normal business hours and can be viewed on the county website; www.waynecountypa.gov. The commissioners intend to formally adopt the budget on December 21, 2017

This budget includes a millage rate increase for the first time since 2013. The increase is in the amount of .28 mills. A review of the county’s financial records shows that, since 2013, the income generated from increases in assessed value has only risen $358,591.00, while the costs of county operations has gone up over $2.0 million during that same time.

Wayne County receives about two-thirds of its total revenue from local real estate taxation. The balance of income is derived from interest, user fees and state and federal funds. The state and federal governments continue to impose unfunded mandates on counties, without any corresponding revenue to cover the additional cost.

This means that local taxpayers are forced to fund the difference. Just as one example, the effects of the Sandusky legislation have greatly increased the workload for our human services agencies with no increase in state or federal funding.

Some of the county increases, since 2013 are:

  • Adult and Juvenile Probation $260,000
  • Human Services/Drug and Alcohol $155,000
  • Human Services/Aging $396,532
  • Human Services/Children & Youth $160,527

The Opioid epidemic that Wayne County has experienced contributes to some of this increase in costs and as well, has contributed to an increase in overall criminal justice operations. The County Correctional Facility has seen a net increase in expenses of $600,000 since 2013 due to criminal justice costs and the termination of a prisoner housing contract from the Department of Corrections.

Although the county experienced relatively little growth in its’ assessed value over the last five years, the County Commissioners have remained committed to economic development. By increasing investment in this area by more than $200,000, the Commissioners have leveraged funding for the Stourbridge Incubator Project, created an Economic Growth Fund Program and will continue to assist with expanded Broadband access as well as provide a match for a Community Investment Model/Agricultural Study.

The new millage rate will be 3.99. Each mill represents $1 in taxation for each $1000 of assessed value. For 2018, a property assessed at $100,000 will pay $399.00

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