Dauphin County Commissioners Approve 2022 Budget, No Tax Increase for 17th Straight Year

Budget 2021 SMALL

Strategic financial planning and a team commitment to creative funding solutions allowed the Dauphin County Commissioners to hold the line once again on property taxes – now for an unprecedented 17th consecutive year.

The county commissioners on Wednesday approved the 2022 county budget, with the millage rate remaining at 6.876 mills.

“This was truly a team effort,” Dauphin County Commissioner Chair Mike Pries said. “Our residents demand accountability. We go over line by line and make tough cuts where we have to.”

The total budget for 2022 is $278.5 million, a 2.5 percent decrease from last year’s budget.

“This is something our taxpayers can be proud of,” Commissioner Chad Saylor said. “We cannot achieve this if we do not have cooperation of elected officials and department heads.”

Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III called it a “remarkable budget.”

“We just came through some of the toughest times in the history of our nation,” Commissioner Hartwick said of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 17th straight year without an increase is believed to be unprecedented across the state.

The commissioners said they will keep working hard to hold the line but pointed to some looming challenges.

Commissioner Hartwick said human services departments are struggled to recruit and retain staff because salaries are not competitive. Hartwick also pointed to a national “crumbling mental health system.”

Commissioner Saylor mentioned unfunded mandates, such as those from the state that resulted in the budget for Dauphin County’s Voter Registration and Elections Office to double.

“We cannot continue to hold the line without some funding from the state,” Commissioner Saylor said.

Some of the ways Dauphin County is working to save money:

- Exploring alternative funding streams (e.g., federal, state, local grant dollars)

- Transition to digitize bid/purchasing process, creating a more competitive bid process

- Considering lease options over buying (for vehicles and facilities)

- Investing in energy efficiency upgrades

- Keep costs in house when possible

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett Hambright, Press Secretary, 717-780-6311; bhambright@dauphinc.org.