New Hope Borough will ring in the new year with its fifth budget in a row without a property tax increase. The 2020 budget, which holds the Borough's total real estate tax rate at 13.77 mils, was approved at the Dec. 17 Borough Council meeting.
"Our residents and merchants count on us to hold the line on taxes," New Hope Borough Council President Connie Gering said. "A steady tax rate allows families to plan ahead and businesses to grow – that's the formula for a vibrant economy and a fiscally-responsible government. The Borough is, by far, the smallest part of your overall real estate tax bill, and we're working to keep it that way."
For New Hope homeowners, the Borough's real estate tax millage is just under 10 percent of the average property tax bill. Bucks County accounts for 17 percent and the New Hope-Solebury School District, at over 100 mils, is responsible for 72 percent of the total real estate tax burden.
"The Borough keeps the peace and paves the streets, promotes commerce and celebrates community – essential services we depend on every day," Gering said. "The work we do must be steady and reliable, and its cost should be, too."
The budget continues strong support for emergency services, including 24/7 ambulance coverage, approved overwhelmingly by New Hope voters in a 2017 referendum. The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury also benefits from additional funding for a second year in a row, coupled with nearly $20,000 in additional in-kind support from the Borough.
Borough administration continues to take measures to improve efficiency and update operations that have helped the Council set clear budget priorities, according to Gering.
"The Borough finds itself in a relatively healthy financial position today due to careful attention to the fiscal controls, which are one of the primary focus of this Council. Thanks also to the hard work of Borough staff, we are confidently moving into our fifth year with no real estate tax increases," Gering said.