Confused about Haverford Township taxes? Other voters are too

Last week at the Haverford Township candidates’ forum, a rumor escaped its mill and made it to the floor: “In these tough economic times, there is a rumor of a 10 percent tax hike,” moderator Marita Green read from an index card submitted by the audience. “What would you do to cut waste within the budget?”

The answers to the actual question included encouraging recycling and business development, but the first half of the statement, that there could be a 10 percent tax hike, is a rumor seemingly rooted in misunderstandings.

Board of Commissioners President Bill Wechsler, who is running for reelection for the Ninth Ward, told Neighbors some residents confuse township taxes with school district taxes, which rose by 6.32 percent this past year after an annual increase.

“Most constituents don’t realize that when taxes go up, it’s not always the township,” Wechsler said, adding that he's not aware of any 10 percent hike.

Haverford Township property taxes, like a majority of municipalities, consist of three parts: Township taxes, the School District of Haverford Township taxes and Delaware County taxes. There is not a wage tax in the township. The rates for 2011 are as follows:

  • Haverford Township’s tax rate is 6.359 percent.
  • The School District of Haverford Township's tax rate is 26.0209 percent.
  • Delaware County’s tax rate is 5.18.

Jane Hall, the Republican candidate for Ward Three, addressed the differences in her response.

“Municipal tax is approximately 17 percent of your tax bill,” she said. “Your school tax is approximately 70 percent. I think that’s important to keep that in perspective when thinking about taxes from the township.”

“After the forum, one of my wife’s closest friends said, ‘I didn’t realize township taxes hadn’t raised,’” Wechsler said, adding, “and this is a relatively smart and informed woman.”

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