No 2022 County Property Tax Increase Proposed | News, Sports, Jobs


Property owners in the area will not see an increase in the amount they pay the county in property taxes in 2022 if the draft budget, which was presented at the Lycoming County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, is approved in December. The current county real estate rate is 6.5 mills.

Projected revenue included in the budget totals $102.9M, or $0.4M, or 0.4% higher than the 2021 budget. Next year’s expenditures are projected to be $127.5M. dollars, an increase of $7.3 million or a 6% increase over the current year’s budget, according to Brandy Clemons, county director of budget and finance.

Clemons said taxes and other service charges are rising and are mostly offset by declines in all other county revenue categories.

The main contributors to the increase on the expense side are capital expenditures of $3.1 million for construction of the county health center and the planned relocation of county departments from Executive Plaza to Third Street Plaza, which will will take place after the sale of Executive Plaza, which is expected to take place hopefully next year, Clemons said.

No revenue has been budgeted for this anticipated sale due to uncertainty as to when it would occur.

Soft costs for health center operating costs are also expected to increase by $1.2 million next year.

The health center would be used by county employees in an effort to reduce the health insurance costs the county pays by treating employee health issues.

“We’re trying to have the vision that’s going to help lower insurance costs, so it’s an investment to have healthy employees,” said commissioner Scott Metzger.

The local use fund expects an increase of $3.1 million next year due to the continuation of the bridge consolidation program. This program is funded entirely by the $5 fee that was added to vehicle registrations a few years ago, Clemons said.

The general fund balance in the 2020 financial statements is $26.5 million, Clemons told the commissioners.

“We’re looking to add a bit to that this year with all the vacancies we have and projects that aren’t finished and are being rolled over,” said Clemons.

“We should not use the deficit but a real surplus most likely at the end of the current year”, she says.

Next year’s budget, however, includes a rollover of projects that were not completed this year and the offsetting revenue from the sale of the buildings was not there.

“For the taxpayers… when we come up with a budget that can change like in 2021, our capital projects that are not there are obviously going to decrease the expenditures of the 2021 budget but carry them over to the 2022 (budget). So there has the reason why you see this increase”, said Commissioner Tony Mussare.

When asked by Mussare if this was the highest budget she had ever seen, Clemons, who has worked in the county for 12 years, said: ” I believe him.”

“I should really look back but I would say yes” she says. “It’s a bit higher than normal.”

“Much Higher” Mussare said, “and it’s alarming, it’s not worrying anymore, it’s alarming. We are going to have to limit some of these expenses.

“With decreasing funding for federal and state agencies, if we want this to become a future thing,” Clemons said, “We’re going to have to tighten our belts a little more in the years to come to adapt.”

The draft budget will be available for public viewing on the county’s website at www.lyco.org. Hard copies are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Commissioners Office, Comptroller’s Office, Office of Budget and Finance, and the James V. Brown Library and the six member libraries of the County Library System. By Pat Crossley

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Property owners in the area will not see an increase in the amount they pay the county in property taxes in 2022 if the draft budget, which was presented at the Lycoming County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, is approved in December. The current county real estate rate is 6.5 mills.

Projected revenue included in the budget totals $102.9M, or $0.4M, or 0.4% higher than the 2021 budget. Next year’s expenditures are projected to be $127.5M. dollars, an increase of $7.3 million or a 6% increase over the current year’s budget, according to Brandy Clemons, county director of budget and finance.

Clemons said taxes and other service charges are rising and are mostly offset by declines in all other county revenue categories.

The main contributors to the increase on the expense side are capital expenditures of $3.1 million for construction of the county health center and the planned relocation of county departments from Executive Plaza to Third Street Plaza, which will will take place after the sale of Executive Plaza, which is expected to take place hopefully next year, Clemons said.

No revenue has been budgeted for this anticipated sale due to uncertainty as to when it would occur.

Soft costs for health center operating costs are also expected to increase by $1.2 million next year.

The health center would be used by county employees in an effort to reduce the health insurance costs the county pays by treating employee health issues.

“We’re trying to have the vision that’s going to help lower insurance costs, so it’s an investment to have healthy employees,” said commissioner Scott Metzger.

The local use fund expects an increase of $3.1 million next year due to the continuation of the bridge consolidation program. This program is funded entirely by the $5 fee that was added to vehicle registrations a few years ago, Clemons said.

The general fund balance in the 2020 financial statements is $26.5 million, Clemons told the commissioners.

“We’re looking to add a bit to that this year with all the vacancies we have and projects that aren’t finished and are being rolled over,” said Clemons.

“We should not use the deficit but a real surplus most likely at the end of the current year”, she says.

Next year’s budget, however, includes a rollover of projects that were not completed this year and the offsetting revenue from the sale of the buildings was not there.

“For the taxpayers… when we come up with a budget that can change like in 2021, our capital projects that are not there are obviously going to decrease the expenditures of the 2021 budget but carry them over to the 2022 (budget). So there has the reason why you see this increase”, said Commissioner Tony Mussare.

When asked by Mussare if this was the highest budget she had ever seen, Clemons, who has worked in the county for 12 years, said: ” I believe him.”

“I should really look back but I would say yes” she says. “It’s a bit higher than normal.”

“Much Higher” Mussare said, “and it’s alarming, it’s not worrying anymore, it’s alarming. We are going to have to limit some of these expenses.

“With decreasing funding for federal and state agencies, if we want this to become a future thing,” Clemons said, “We’re going to have to tighten our belts a little more in the years to come to adapt.”

The draft budget will be available for public viewing on the county’s website at www.lyco.org. Hard copies are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Commissioners Office, Comptroller’s Office, Office of Budget and Finance, and the James V. Brown Library and the six member libraries of the County Library System.



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