Birmingham tax hike in effect for 2010

Birmingham Township Supervisors’ Chairman John Conklin said
he and the other supervisors didn’t want to raise taxes, but felt the increase was
justified to offset a drop in revenue.

The 2010 budget raises the property tax from 1.5 mills to
1.6 mills, roughly $.63 per week for average household, according to Supervisor
Bill Kirkpatrick. A mill is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property

Supervisors also voted to levy a Local Service Tax of $52
per year on individuals making a minimum of  $12,000 per year while employed in the township. That tax is
expected to bring in an extra $30,000 per year.

Conklin said the township needed to increase its revenue
because revenues had been dropping and the carry forward amount each year was
also decreasing.

“The board is responding to a two-year drop in revenue that
started in ’08 and worsened in ’09. In ’07, when revenues were strong,we actually
prepaid $100,000 of debt. … The increase in taxes is really an attempt to prop
up the revenues that we have not been able to replace,” he said.

He said revenue dropped roughly $50,000 since 2007 and that
he sees no increase soon. If that downward trend would continue in 2010, he
said, the reserve would also continue to be drawn down. The carry forward
amount had also dropped by $50,000, according to Conklin.

He added that the recent snowstorm took a big bite out of
the reserve funds, going from $20,000 over to $6,000 under.

The revenue drop was due to a weakened housing market
resulting in less property transfer tax revenue, he said.

The 2010 budget anticipates $1,750,000 in revenue (which
includes a carry forward from 2009), $1,235,000 in spending with $515,000
carried forward into 2011.

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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