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The Unseen Burden: Property Taxes in Lancaster County

In these times of economic hardship, one might be lulled into a false sense of security by the soothing words of county officials, the local school board, the NRD, or others that have tax authority. They proclaim, with an air of triumph, that they have lowered the levy no matter how slight that decrease may be. Yet, this is but a smoke screen, a clever ruse to obscure the true state of our finances. The harsh reality remains: property taxes are soaring to unprecedented heights, casting a heavy burden upon the shoulders of all residents of Lancaster County—renters and homeowners alike.

Do not be deceived by their slick talk and polished presentations. The small reduction in the levy is but a drop in the ocean compared to the relentless rise in property valuations and bond measures. For instance, the total assessed value of properties in Lancaster County increased by approximately 23% on average over the past year alone​. The valuations and bond initiatives, manipulated under the guise of economic progress, are driving up our taxes to levels that are unsustainable and unjust. It is a hidden tax increase, one that quietly infiltrates our lives and erodes our financial stability.

With the cost of everything rising, from groceries to healthcare, this dramatic increase in property valuations makes it nearly impossible for residents to budget effectively. The unexpected spikes in property taxes and rent leave families and individuals scrambling to

make ends meet, unable to predict or plan for their financial future.

The county and other governing bodies must face this truth with the gravity it deserves. Their spending habits must be reined in. It is not enough to merely adjust the levy; we must address the root cause—the extravagant and unchecked expenditures that plague our local government.

As a combat veteran and business leader in the public and private sector, I have faced and overcome challenges that have honed my skills in strategic planning financial management, and leadership. My life and business experiences have provided me with a keen understanding of the importance of fiscal responsibility and the dire consequences of unchecked spending. This background equips me to ask the tough questions and challenge the status quo. I am not afraid to scrutinize every expenditure, to demand justification for every dollar spent, and to hold our leaders accountable for their fiscal decisions.

Our aging infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. Roads, bridges, and public facilities, to name a few are crumbling, and yet funds are diverted to elected officials pet projects of lesser importance. Maintaining and upgrading our needed infrastructure, and ensuring we are providing the necessary services is no small feat.  The continuous misallocation of resources threatens not only our present well-being but also our future prosperity.

The growth of Lancaster County is a testament to its potential, but this growth cannot be sustained on a foundation of fiscal irresponsibility. We need prudent financial management that prioritizes essential infrastructure improvements, ensuring we are meeting the safety needs of the county, as well as ensuring that our county can support the influx of new residents and businesses.

Let us not be swayed by the hollow victories touted by our current elected officials. Instead, let us demand transparency and accountability. It is time for the county and others to exercise fiscal discipline, to spend wisely and invest in the critical needs we have, to secure our future and not whims of elected officials that are not acting as public servants.

We must stand firm against the tide of rising property taxes and demand a fair, just, and sustainable financial strategy for Lancaster County. Our prosperity depends on it. Together, we can build a stronger, more financially secure Lancaster County for all its residents.

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