Kennett Sq. presents proposed 2023 budget, 8.1% tax hike eyed

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget, totaling $5.1 million, was presented to the Kennett Square Council.

The presentation highlighted positive indicators of economic development in the Borough, including a 19% increase in growth-based revenue due to enhanced economic activity (Local Tax Enabling Act) over a five-year period. The proposed budget also reduces administrative spending by nearly 10% compared to FY 2022.

The current Borough Property Tax Rate is 6.75 mills. The proposed budget would increase the rate to 10.25 mills. This equates to an 8.10% increase in the average resident’s property tax bill, or $496.11 annually (approximately $1.35 per day).

In previous years, the Borough did not make substantial investments in capital assets. The average annual investment in capital spending (of operating expenses) from 2018-2022 was approximately 1%.

The proposed budget significantly increases capital investment to 8.5% of operating expenses and funds several priorities identified in the Borough’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Percentage of Capital Investment (of Operating Expenses)

  • FY 2018- 2022 (annual average)- 1%
  • FY 2023 (proposed)- 8.5%

The proposed budget holds Borough operating cost increases below CPI (cost of living) for 2023. Instead, significant funds are set aside for major investments in the Borough’s infrastructure and capital assets.

Specifically, the proposed budget includes the following infrastructure and capital improvement projects (among others);

  • Improvements to Streets and Alleys ($550,000 investment)
    • Reconstruction of Birch Street ($143,000 investment)
    • Sidewalk Rebate Program ($100,000 investment)
  • Park-to-Park Connectivity Project ($165,000 investment)
  • Electrification and “greening” of equipment and mini fleet ($28,000 investment)
  • Repairs to Fire Hydrants ($130,000 investment)
  • Relining of Sewer Pipes ($125,000 investment)
  • Modernization of Police Station ($1.5 million investment)
  • Preventative Maintenance of Parking Garage ($50,000 investment)

It is important to note, many of these projects are funded in part by other government entities and partners. Specifically, the reconstruction of Birch Street and the park-to- park connectivity projects utilize $308,000 of Borough funds while yielding over $2.5 million in outside investment. These projects highlight the Borough’s successful track record of strategically leveraging its own resources to secure additional funding.

As the condition of sidewalks is an important issue expressed by residents, the proposed budget also includes a new “Sidewalk Rebate Program”. The Sidewalk Rebate Program is an innovative infrastructure initiative in which the Borough reimburses a property owner a portion of the cost to replace their sidewalk. This initiative is a partnership between Borough government and property owners as it achieves universally shared goals to improve sidewalks throughout the Borough. More details of the program will be unveiled over the next several weeks.

The proposed budget also provides Borough personnel the necessary resources to ensure residents receive the services they deserve. In addition, the proposed budget serves as a catalyst for continued economic growth and sustainability.

The Council will review the proposed budget over the next two months. Public comments on the proposed budget are welcomed and encouraged. Comments can be submitted to

The proposed budget and PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the Borough website,, and Facebook page by Monday Oct. 10.

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