Michael P. Lynch
Director of Finance
The 2021 Budget process is underway and is proving to be a challenging endeavor. Even with last year’s tax increase, the Township continues to face fiscal challenges to balance the budget and keep it sustainable over time. Obviously, 2020 has turned out to be a year like no other. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact, there are additional budgetary themes that are worth highlighting.
One involves capital projects. Capital depreciation has not been funded over time. This means that when large capital expenditures come due, there are no designated savings set aside to cover the costs. The arguable upswing to this approach is that the public has benefited from lower taxes over time. However, we are now looking at several significant bridge repair projects that will be challenging to cover.
The Township’s fleet of vehicles and equipment also has constant turnover. While we can prioritize these replacements and push some items out a few years, “kicking the can down the road” can compound replacement costs in future years.
In addition to repairs and equipment replacement, the Township is also working to maintain – and advance – its parks and trail networks. There are several projects – planned or in the pipeline – for 2021. These include a trail connecting East Bradford Elementary to Copeland School Park, a kayak launch at Shaw’s Bridge, tennis court resurfacing, Strode’s Barn restoration planning, and Plum Run corridor engineering. While much of this work is supported by grant funding, Township officials will be working to balance these efforts against others.
In terms of COVID-19 impacts, fines and interest rates are trending lower, cleaning costs are higher, and there has been a noticeable drop in liquid fuels funds (funds provided by the State of Pennsylvania from gas taxes) (down about $30,000). However, revenue has remained relatively stable overall.
The 2021 Budget will be discussed monthly at the Board of Supervisors meetings between now and November. With most meetings being virtual, it is easy to join the discussion. Visit the Boards and Commissions Page for meeting log in information. Questions and comments on the budget are welcomed and can be directed to Michael Lynch, Director of Finance, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 436-5108 x101.
Prior year budgets are provided below:
The Township budget consists of six distinct budgets – General, Sewer, Highway Improvement, Liquid Fuels, Capital Reserve, and Open Space.
- The General Fund is the principal operating fund for the Township (e.g. police, fire, recreation, planning, codes, etc.).
- The Sewer Fund supports public sewer service to over 1,200 customers in the Township through an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with the Borough of West Chester. Its revenues may not be used for any other purpose and the expenses must be supported by the customers being served.
- The Highway Improvement Fund supports the design and construction of road improvements.
- Receipts for the State Liquid Fuels Fund are provided by the State of Pennsylvania from gas taxes and are based upon Township road miles and population. Use of the fund is limited to road maintenance/reconstruction and related equipment purchases.
- The Capital Reserve Fund is used for capital projects, major equipment purchase/replacements, capital debt, and asset depreciation funding. (If you’re interested to learn more about capital funds, PA Township News published an article on capital improvement funding in 2015.)
- The Open Space Fund (established in 1999) is funded from the open space preservation tax (¼ of 1% on earned income) pursuant to the Open Space Preservation Act. Expenditures are restricted to acquisition of interests in real property and costs associated with these acquisition activities.
EARNED INCOME TAX
Keystone Collections Group collects the earned income tax, open space tax and local services tax for East Bradford Township. You may contact them at (888) 328-0565 or, during the tax season, you can use this dedicated tax hotline: 1-866-539-1100. They also have a local office at 780 Miles Road, West Chester, PA 19380 , (610) 269-4402. The office is located in the Brookworth Plaza (in East Bradford Township) on Downingtown Pike (near the PNC Bank, Dunkin Donut and CVS). The PSD Code for Residents is: 151201. The Earned Income Rate for Residents is: 1.25% distributed as follows:
- .50% goes to East Bradford Township
- .50% goes to the West Chester School District
- .25% goes to the East Bradford Township Open Space Fund
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the filing deadline for local earned income taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020, consistent with State and Federal taxes. Visit https://www.keystonecollects.com/ for more information.
REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX
East Bradford Township has contracted with the Chester County Treasurer’s Office to bill and collect the real estate taxes for the Township. They also collect the County real estate taxes. Residents can mail payments directly to the Treasurer’s Office at 313 W. Market Street, Suite 3202, West Chester, PA 19382. Checks should be made payable “Chester County Treasurer.” The County is accepting the “postmark” date for the discount period, which ends on April 1. Questions should be directed to the Treasurer’s Office at (610) 344-6370 or email@example.com. West Chester School District real estate taxes are collected by Berkheimer Associates ((866) 300-1714).
LOCAL SERVICES TAX (LST)
The Local Services Tax (LST) is collected from individuals who work in the municipality. The $52.00/year tax is deducted from the individual’s paycheck. Keystone Collections is the administrator of this tax for East Bradford Township ((724) 978-0300).
View recent audit reports below: