Lehigh County budget proposal included no new property taxes

Written by on August 28, 2020

Lehigh County budget proposal included no new property taxes

By Tyler Pratt

August 28, 2020

Sheila Thompson/Flickr

Lehigh County’s proposed budget for next year includes no new property taxes. The county’s executive unveiled the proposal on Thursday. The draft proposes budget cuts to departments, but there are no plans for layoffs and the $25 million dollar rainy day fund will remain intact.

The majority of the more than 450 million dollar budget is funded by state and federal grants. County revenue – roughly a quarter of that – comes from property taxes. Those were raised last year to nearly four percent.

County Executive Phil Armstrong says he credits previous work done by the board to create a five-year plan for the county, so its finances haven’t been excessively shaken by the pandemic. 

“We have tightened our belts in doing this budget – this is a working man’s budget. This is not a suit and tie budget.”

Department heads will now meet the board of commissioners to discuss the proposal and Armstrong has the power to veto or accept any changes. A final plan is expected this fall. 

Armstrong says the county is scrambling right now to find money to add to this year’s budget. The unexpected costs of mail-in voting in the coming election may double or even triple. 

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