14 years with no tax increase and debt-free by 2025: Jeff and Mike deliver on their good government promise
Jeff Haste and Mike Pries never lose sight of the fact that behind Dauphin County’s budget is the hard work of our residents.
That’s why in addition to not raising taxes for the 14th year straight, Jeff and Mike have put the county on a course to be debt-free. Barring unforeseen costs, the county will pay off the current $68 million in debt by 2025.
Additionally, the $247 spending plan for 2019 approved this month will help townships and boroughs from having to raise taxes by assisting with the replacing or repairing of municipally-owned bridges.
“Not only are we always looking for ways to deliver quality services without raising taxes, but we are committed to helping local officials keep cost down for their residents as well,’’ Jeff says. “Without our new bridge program, most communities would be forced to pass on the costs in the form of property tax increases.’’
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Under the program, the county is using state transportation-related funds to cover 40 percent of a municipality’s cost to repair or replace its bridge. The rest of the money can be borrowed from the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank and ultra-low rates.
“At a time when crumbling infrastructure is a national concern, Dauphin County is making sure our roads and bridges are safe,’’ Mike says. “We never stop looking at the challenges facing our communities and finding ways to help.’’
Additional steps taken by Jeff and Mike to hold down costs and improve services as part of the 2019 budget include:
- Consolidating the county’s Judicial Center and adjacent Prison in Swatara Township, which resulted in $500,000 in savings in 2018 and is anticipated to save $800,000 in 2019.
- Reducing healthcare costs by $7 million since 2009 by self-insuring.
- Saving $1 million by hiring only once a quarter instead of immediately filling vacancies.
- Continuing efforts to make county buildings more energy efficient, which are expected to save $80,000 in electricity next year.
To learn more about Dauphin County’s budget for 2019, go to www.DauphinCounty.org