Columbia County could see big tax hike

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Pa. — For the past three years, property taxes have stayed the same in Columbia County. But that could soon change. 

At this week’s Columbia County Commissioner’s meeting, commissioners proposed raising taxes in next year’s budget.

“What that means to the taxpayers is, unfortunately, their taxes will be going up significantly, around 23%,” Columbia County Chief Clerk David Witchey said.

According to commissioners, that means an average homeowner in Columbia County would pay about $50 more in property taxes next year.

David Witchey is the Chief Clerk in Columbia County. He says while property taxes have gone up over the years, the county’s last significant tax increase was in 2011. 

Witchey says the need for the larger tax increase now is because worker salaries and benefits are costing more. He says Columbia County used American Rescue Plan money the past two years to avoid tax increases, but now that money is gone.

“Unfortunately, what would have happened is the taxpayers of Columbia County would have had a tax increase earlier on than 2024.  They would have had it probably back in 2021,” Witchey said.

“That will affect me, and I’m against it,” Philip Irey said.

Taxpayers we spoke with are not happy about the increase.

“I’m living on a fixed income. I’m retired for 15 years, and I really think that that’s quite a big jump,” Irey said.

Witchey says the tax increase is expected to give the county a $1.3 million surplus, which will hopefully prevent more tax hikes for at least two years. 

Commissioners are expected to vote on the property tax increase and the 2024 budget next month.

Read More: Columbia County could see big tax hike

2023-11-17 23:49:00

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