2009 Budget & Taxes
At our December 8, 2008, the Board of Commissioners approved the 2009 Haverford Township Budget. The budget included a tax increase of 4.36 percent, increases the annual sewer rental charge to $4.50 per 1,000 gallons of water consumed, and increases the annual trash fee to $125.00. The budget was extremely lean, however, as a result of cost-cutting measures; we Commissioners could not ignore certain cost increases, including wage raises, the cost of fuel and other energy, and required contributions for police and other pensions. To view the proposed budget, click here.
Don't Be Fooled by the County's "No Tax Increase Budget"
In addition, Delaware County Council has saddled the Township and the other municipalities in the County with fees that we have never paid before. Thus, when you read that the Delaware County Council approved a "No Tax Increase Budget," please be aware that County Council is not telling you the complete story.
As reported in the December 17, 2008 Haverford Press:
While there is no county property tax increase, council made a decision to require the Solid Waste Authority to become self-sufficient and will no longer subsidize the operation of solid waste disposal. As a result, the SWA will impose a $15.90 per ton charge on each of the county's 49 municipalities for costs associated with with disposal of municipal trash. Municipalities may raise the fee charged to residents for trash collection to make up for the SWA per-ton charge for solid waste disposal.
In other words, rather than raise taxes, Delaware County Council has imposed a new fee upon Haverford Township, a fee the Township has never before paid. We estimate that this new fee will cost Haverford Township approximately $700,000.00 -- and the Township anticipates that additional fees on other waste disposal may be imposed as well. The Haverford Press article noted that other communities were upset with the fee, and that Sharon Hill Councilman Steve Travers complained that "there was never a true number of trash tonnage that municipalities could use to budget for the SWA fee." The Mayor of Lansdowne stated that her municipality would have to budget $91,000.00 for the new "fee."
Faced with new "fees" from the County (unlike the County, the Township cannot simply shift costs "down the line" and disingenuously claim that we are not raising taxes), increasing energy costs, preset salary and pension costs, the Commissioners had no alternative but to impose a small tax increase.
We are well aware that Haverford Township residents are impacted by the current economic conditions plaguing the country, and we are doing everything we can to hold down costs. The Commissioners are considering a variety of cost-saving measures, including the elimination of curbside leaf pickups and reducing trash collection to once a week. We are also considering ways to charge residents based upon actual trash disposed, and will report our results to you as soon as we have them. While single stream recycling will help to reduce costs, all of the Commissioners, including me, pledge to hold the line on costs and to manage your tax dollars responsibly.