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Lancaster adopts proposed $51.2 million budget with 22% effective tax rate increase

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

LANCASTER—A tough budget season came to a close as Lancaster supervisors on Thursday, May 30, narrowly approved a $0.55 real estate tax rate in a 3-2 vote.

Craig Giese, Bill Smith and Bill Lee voted in favor; Ernest Palin and Jason Bellows voted against. Supervisors subsequently adopted and appropriated a $51,215,171 budget built on the tax increase in 4-1 votes with Bellows voting against.

Although the average increase in property value was 41% after the reassessment, county administrator Don Gill said after the board of equalization adjustments the average increase was lowered to 38.96% and the equalized tax rate—that is the tax rate per $100 that would generate the same revenue at the now higher property value—was $0.45. At $0.55, the effective tax rate increase would be 22.22%, according to Gill.

Bruce Julian said he supported the budget and its underlying $0.55 tax rate. “Plans require the commitment of resources if we are truly dedicated to implementation. Planning and talking is easy. Implementing is much more difficult and occasionally unpopular.” He added that he was “thankful that our children in the public schools will have facilities providing a clean and healthy environment and an atmosphere to encourage and accelerate learning.”

George Bott supported a tax rate increase, but a smaller one at $0.50. He said the pay raise was too generous given the….

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