Oxford Borough plans a tax decrease for 2019
By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough unveiled a $3.7 million general fund budget at a council meeting on Nov. 19, and there was some very good news for taxpayers: Borough officials are anticipating that the millage rate will be decreased by .25 mills for 2019.
If the budget figures remain as they are now, the millage rate will be reduced from 12.25 mills to 12 mills when a final budget is adopted in mid-December.
How will the borough manage the rare feat of lowering taxes?
The borough's revenues are climbing from one year to the next. Borough manager Brian Hoover explained that Oxford has seen a significant increase in construction activity, as well as a large increase in the total assessed value of all properties in the borough. Hoover estimated that the total assessed value of all properties has increased by about $5.2 million during the last year. That equates to about $63,000 in revenues to the borough's coffers.
Hoover said that Oxford saw an extraordinary amount of construction in town in the last year.
Some new homes have been built, and a large number of existing homes are selling in the borough. Many of the new homeowners are undertaking improvement projects. Improvements are also being made to commercial buildings in town, increasing the values of those buildings. Ware Presbyterian Village has also been growing significantly in the last few years.
Overall, Hoover said, the borough saw about $225,000 in building permits for 2018.
Hoover expressed optimism that the borough is growing and healthy financially.
“Our population is climbing,” Hoover said. “We're adding new homes to the borough. We're seeing a lot of commercial work being done. The borough is in a very good position financially.”
The proposed budget is now available for public review and comment. Boroughs are required to adopt a final budget by Dec. 31 each year. In Oxford's case, borough council is on track to adopt a final budget at a meeting on Monday, Dec. 17.
Borough residents will have the opportunity to review and ask questions about the budget, or any other topics that might be of interest to them, at Oxford's annual Borough Day, which is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7. Officials will be available during the day on Borough Day to meet with residents.