Pennsbury residents to vote on open space tax

Pennsbury Township supervisors voted 3-0 during their May 20 meeting to authorize a referendum on open space taxes for the November general election. The question will ask voters if they approve a property tax of 0.79 mills for open space preservation.

A mill is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The current property tax for open space is 0.45 mills. According to Supervisors’ Chairman Charles “Scotty” Scottoline, the millage rate would increase taxes by $34 per year on a home assessed at $100,000.

With the referendum, however, the earned income tax portion of open space revenue would go away. Scottoline said that would result in a savings of $188 per year for people making $100,000 per year.

The township has had both a property tax and an earned income tax for open space since the 2003 board adopted such taxes. Those taxes were enacted by the supervisors, not by referendum. They went into effect in 2004, but they also carried a sunset clause that would retire the taxes at the end of 2008.

Last year’s board wanted a referendum, but did not meet the deadline to get the question on the ballot. The board extended the sunset clause until the end of 2009 to keep the taxes going through the end of the year.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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