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Over the next three months, Lansdowne Borough Council will be discussing the Budget for 2023. To be open and transparent in the process, Council will not only have the discussions in council, but also an informational meeting for the Borough of Lansdowne to be scheduled at the end of September. The budgeting process includes discussion of projected expenses and revenues. As a Borough, Council is restricted by PA Borough Code in revenue generation to real estate taxes, local services tax, and an earned income tax. The Sewer Fee and Trash Fee are both created in relationship to fees charged by Aqua and the county.
In creation of the budget, Council considers not just the next year expenditures, but also anticipates the projections over the next five years with consideration of possible pension obligations, new hires, and capital projects that will be undertaken.
Please see here a list of current tax rates, fees, past budgets, bond rating reports, and audited statements here:
For a breakdown and comparison of tax rates from the County, School District, and Municipality, please see the tax rate document here from the County Website:
Lansdowne Borough Council has worked to maintain a high quality of life in the Borough of Lansdowne: by investing in our Sanitation and Highway Departments through supporting the great members of the SEIU; through providing for the public safety by equipping and training our highly professional Police Department of full time officers and investing in a new truck for the Fire Department; by developing recreational opportunities through investment in new amenities in our parks, building parks, and pedestrian and bicycle pathways; and, in maintaining the quality of our real estate through the expansion of the code enforcement department from 1 to 3 full time officers; attracting businesses and developers to our downtown through our contracts with the LEDC and support of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation.
Currently, our Borough is in an excellent fiscal situation with a fund balance of approximately $1.45 million. This fund balance allows the Borough to apply for grants and pay for projects that allow our Borough to remain competitive with the development in surrounding communities. According to the Government Finance Officers Association, the minimum recommended fund balance for Borough operations is 16.7% of the budget. Currently, the Borough of Lansdowne is at 16%.
In the coming two months, Borough Council will explore how to build on the successes through strategic investments. Over the past three years, Borough Council attempted to cap and reduce real estate taxes despite inflationary pressures on the budget caused by wage increases and pensions contributions. As a result, the Earned Income Tax of .5% allowed for no increase in real estate tax in 2020 and 2021 and a 5% reduction in 2022.
Borough Council will examine the possible options on the budget with various scenarios of maintaining the current tax rates or altering the Earned Income Tax and Real Estate Taxes.