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High taxes are killing Oxford growth

07/09/2014 10:05PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print

By Uncle Irvin

On the front page of the July 2 issue of the Chester County Press, a table of property tax rates once again shows Oxford Borough with the highest property taxes in Chester County.

It costs each borough property owner 9 more mills, a full 30 percent higher than Kennett Square Borough, the next highest municipality. Moreover, Oxford Borough’s municipal millage rate of 12 mills is more than double Kennett Square's 5.35 mills. The Oxford Areas School District's millage is 10 percent higher than any other school district in southern Chester County.

It’s no secret that Oxford Borough has shown signs of a downtown revival. Two new restaurants have opened and appear to be thriving, and there are many promotions. But the tax anchor around the borough’s neck may be too heavy to allow any meaningful growth.

Meanwhile, residents cough up the high millage year after year with little complaint. The borough continues to employ a municipal police force that its residents cannot afford. Why live in the borough when Upper Oxford's millage is .50, Lower Oxford's is .25, and East Nottingham's is 0.00, which translates into hundreds of dollars of lower property taxes, year after year?

Uncle Irvin would like to see Oxford’s taxes on par with Kennett Square Borough’s. Kennett Square's business district is prospering far faster than Oxford's.

Oxford Borough Council members must live in a different world to allow this huge tax differential to impede prosperity and to overburden residents.

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