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Chester County Press

Uncle Irvin: Oxford Borough takes the booby prize

08/22/2017 01:36PM ● By Richard Gaw
A front-page chart in the Aug. 16 Chester County Press tells the same old story – Oxford Borough property owners pay the highest property taxes in southern Chester County.
The combined millage for Oxford Borough is 43.3984 mills (that's the borough's millage rate of 12.25 mills, plus the 31.1484 mills of school property taxes).
Kennett Square Borough has the second-highest rate at 36.2289 mills (that's the borough's millage rate of 6.35 mills, plus the 29.8789 mills in school property taxes).
The biggest reason for the disparity between boroughs and townships is the disproportionately high cost that boroughs face of maintaining a 24/7 police force. A big factor in determining the burden of school property taxes is a community's tax rateables, especially commercial taxes.
The future, unfortunately, looks just like the past for Oxford. While the figures change annually, this trend has been in place for at least 50 years. Fortunately, Kennett Square Borough looks like it is moving toward a more stable future. Major development plans are being implemented, and it appears a new boutique hotel is coming to town. And there is still time for both boroughs to realign their police situation with regionalization of police forces.
However, the vast gap in property taxes will continue to hurt both Kennett Square Borough and Oxford Borough as the wealthier businesses and residents will continue to choose lower tax alternatives in the neighboring townships.

(Uncle Irvin's column is his opinion only, and is not a news story.)

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