This story originally appeared on 6abc.
Residents in a Delaware County town expressed their anger on Thursday night after it was decided that the property tax would increase by about 17%.
“We didn’t get any answers,” said Mike Dougherty, who has lived in Ridley Park for about 40 years. “Very frustrating for everybody, and we came to get answers.”
Several people voiced their frustration at the Ridley Park Borough special council meeting Thursday night.
Members voted 6 to 1 to increase the property tax rate by about 17%, which means the average homeowner will pay about $400 extra each year.
“All the older people here, they can’t afford 17%, nobody can,” said Dougherty. “That’s the shame of it, the old people, and then to get into the young people with kids. It’s even worse for them.”
“Every dollar counts. We want to keep our money,” said Sam Canale, another resident. “It’s not fair to make people spend that kind of money.”
Council leaders said this decision comes after Prospect Medical Holdings, which owns Taylor Hospital with the Crozer Health System, is late on paying taxes totaling $487,000.
Now, local leaders say they’re trying to fill in the gap.
A Crozer Health spokesperson released the following statement on the issue:
“Crozer Health has been in active negotiations with taxing authorities to determine the fair market value of the property which the property taxes should be based upon. We are optimistic that we will be able to reach a mutually agreed-upon resolution.”
“Our solicitor is in contact with our attorneys,” said Council President Dane Collins. “This has been going back and forth over the course of the last six weeks or so. There has been some movement.”
Special council members also approved the 2024 final budget 6 to 1.
Residents are hoping for changes in the new year.
“It’s unfair and just plain wrong to burden the taxpayers of Ridley Park with this historic tax rate in order to pay the 2023-24 tax bill of this depraved, greedy organization,” said resident Mike Gale. “Please fight for us. Will you do that?”
Residents believe council members should cut costs elsewhere, such as the fireworks display or local activities.
Council members have until February 15 to amend the 2024 budget.
They also approved the sewer rate to $465 and the trash rate to $395 per household.
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