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Wrightstown okays 2020 budget with no tax increase


The Wrightstown Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a municipal budget for 2020 that carries no increase in the local real estate property tax.

Next year, property owners in Wrightstown will again pay a township property tax of 9.23 mills.

A mill is equal to $1 of every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. To calculate the municipal tax on a Wrightstown property, multiply the assessed value of the property by 9.23 and then divide by 1,000.

For example, a Wrightstown property assessed at $45,000 will owe $415.30 in annual municipal real estate taxes in 2020. School and county taxes make up a larger portion of a resident’s property tax bill.

At the Monday meeting, Township Manager Joe Pantano reported that the general fund portion of the 2020 township budget totals about $2.1 million. The general fund covers significant expenses like police, township administration, public works and more.

Earlier this year, Supervisor Jane Magne indicated that expenses are rising about $42,000 in 2020 over 2019. “Much of that is due to the yearly increase in what Wrightstown pays Newtown Township for police services,” Magne said.

Despite that expense uptick, projections indicate that Wrightstown will generate enough revenue to cover things without a tax increase.

In other news, Township Solicitor Terry Clemons said that there’s been progress in Wrightstown’s effort to protect a 67-acre property in the township from future development. Clemons said the property owner is agreeable to a township offer related to a conservation easement officials would like to place on the property. Clemons said he’s preparing necessary documentation to have the conservation easement go forward.

In Pennsylvania, a voluntary conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation/natural values – the upshot of which is that significant development is typically prohibited under terms of the deals.

Such easements allow property owners to continue to own and use their land, as well as to sell it or pass it on to heirs.

Since negotiations regarding the possible easement are ongoing, township officials said they could not identify the property or say who owns the land.