HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — At 76 square miles, Hempfield Township is one of the biggest municipalities in the entire state of Pennsylvania, and it’s not exactly cheap to run or maintain.
But like every big city to tiny town, Hempfield Township has taken a financial body blow from the Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing quarantine.
“Out of our $14 million budget, $5.7 million of it comes from earned income tax. And people are not working, so unfortunately, those are lost revenues,” said Jason Winters, Hempfield Township Manager.
Winters also said that Hempfield Township is looking at projections of around $1 million shortfall at the end of this year.
From big to small, the pandemic put a halt to building project as well.
“A lot of the bigger building permits are down,” Winters said.
Travel and social distancing meant nobody came out to play, so parks and recreation fee were way down as well.
“Every dollar counts due to fees and taxes, permits are down,” Winters said.
Real estate revenue however, may be running a little behind, but that’s one source of funding that will make it into Township coffers.
“Real estate taxes will come. We’re one of the municipalities that deferred real estate taxes,” Winters said.
Winters made it clear that a potential deficit is not to be ignored and that there is a plan.
“We put a budget freeze in place for nonessential spending when this first started, knowing that we were going to be down on our revenues,” Winters said.
Winters went on to say that the Township is taking an 18-month approach to this, and that things will continue well into next year.
When you are dealing with deficits, taxes sometimes take care of that.
Winters told KDKA’s Ross Guidotti that Hempfield Township is lucky they have not raised taxes and that is something they are not looking to do at this point.