Bucks County today released its preliminary 2022 operating budget of $474.1 million, a 1.1 percent increase over 2021.
With additional anticipated revenue sources, including funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Board of Commissioners expects to balance the coming year’s budget without raising taxes or dipping into the general fund. The county also will enter the new year with its AAA bond rating recently reaffirmed by Moody’s Investors Service.
“We are pleased to be on track to present a budget to Bucks County residents that, for a second straight year, would not raise taxes,” said Commissioner Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia. “Despite all of the challenges we’ve faced with the pandemic, we continue to be responsible stewards of your tax dollars, and fully expect to maintain our AAA bond rating in 2022.”
Commissioner Vice Chair Bob Harvie added, “This administration is committed to making the most of tax dollars while continuing to provide the high level of service that Bucks Countians expect and deserve, and this preliminary budget is just one more example of that initiative at work.”
The county expects to receive federal funds totaling more than $122 million from the American Rescue Plan Act for use in mitigating the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this preliminary budget, Bucks County is projected to carry a general fund balance of $44.2 million into 2022,” said Chief Financial Officer David Boscola. “With anticipated revenues from ARPA and other sources, our goal is to strengthen these reserves to put the county in the best financial position for the future.”
As in previous years, at 75 percent, county departments providing public safety, health, housing and human services account for the largest portion of the preliminary 2022 budget.
“This year’s preliminary budget is a product of the hard work of our staff of dedicated public servants,” said Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo. “And with no tax increase, I think it’s proof that when we put our differences aside, we can come together as a responsible government that works for everyone.”
Over the next several weeks, the commissioners will analyze the proposed 2022 budget and at 12 p.m. Dec. 1 will hold a public hearing where members of the public may ask questions and offer comments.
The commissioners are scheduled to consider and vote Wednesday, Dec. 15, on a final 2022 budget.
The preliminary 2022 budget includes provisions for departments serving Bucks County residents such as Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Behavioral Health/Developmental Programs, Board of Elections, Children & Youth Social Services Agency, Community Services, Corrections, Emergency Services, General Services, Health Department, Neshaminy Manor, Parks and Recreation and Military Affairs, among others. The preliminary budget also provides for courts and nine elected ROW offices, including the Clerk of Courts, Controller, Coroner, District Attorney, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds, Register of Wills, Sheriff and Treasurer.
The 2022 preliminary budget can be reviewed on the county’s website by clicking here.
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