Chadds Ford approves zero tax hike budget

Township slashes spending by 9% to make up for lost tax revenue

By Mike McGann, Editor,

Township supervisors opted to cut spending, rather than raise taxes or dip into Chadds Ford's surplus for the 2011 budget.

CHADDS FORD — As expected, the board of Supervisors voted Wednesday afternoon to approve a 2011 budget calling for no local tax increase — a feat that required a cut of about 9% in township spending to cover lost real estate tax revenue.

The Supervisors met during a special meeting — moments before the township’s annual Christmas party — to give formal approval to the new $1.019 million budget, which it did unanimously and with little in the way of discussion, although virtually all of the issues with the budget had been hammered out in two previous public sessions and the budget has been on the township’s Web site for weeks.

The three supervisors, Gerry Paul, George Thorpe and chair Deborah Love said they worked with township manager Joe Bakarat and the rest of the township administration to craft a zero-increase budget, rather than raise taxes or dip into the township’s estimated $2.6 million surplus — although that surplus is expected to generate nearly $29,000 in interest revenue for the township in 2011, according to the budget.

While the township remains in sound fiscal condition, like all local governmental bodies, it continues to face the challenge of dealing with lowered real estate tax revenue, both from lowered tax assessments, as well as a sharp drop in the amount of real estate transfer tax — one-time taxes paid when a property is sold.

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