Dauphin County avoids property tax increases in 2021

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Community colleges asking for more money in this year's state budget

On Wednesday morning the Dauphin County Commissioners unveiled a $191.4 million preliminary budget for 2021 that maintains core services and doesn’t increase taxes for the 16th year in a row according to Jack Sherzer, the acting press secretary of Dauphin County’s Office of the Commissioner.

“We realize that many of our residents are struggling because of the economic impact of COVID-19,’’ says board Chairman Jeff Haste. “This board was committed to not raising taxes for next year, though increasing costs will make it tougher to keep holding the line in future budgets.’’ 

The commissioners used $7.5 million of the $25.1 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Secrutiy (CARES) Act money to balance the budget.

Most of the CARES Act funding went to help small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities.

Additionally, the commissioners expect to receive about $1.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for countywide coronavirus-related expenses.

Furloughs and leaving vacant positions unfilled saved about $5.5 million in 2020. 

“During these unprecedented times, we continue to provide uninterrupted vital services to our most vulnerable populations, and I am grateful to our heroes on the frontlines who put the safety and well-being of others first,’’ Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III says. “We will continue prioritizing essential services and doing our best not to increase the financial burden on our residents.’’ 

The $191.4 million preliminary budget is available for public inspection, with final approval expected on Dec. 16.

To view the proposed 2021 budget, visit www.DauphinCounty.org or the 4th floor of the Dauphin County Administration Building, 2 S. Second St., in downtown Harrisburg. 

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