At a work session Tuesday, the supervisors were quick to announce that the preliminary budget was the first in a long time that did not exceed the legal tax limit of 14 mills for second-class townships.
For nine years, the supervisors have petitioned Chester County Court to approve a 19-mill tax-limit waiver. That ended when the makeup of the board changed in January and the earned-income tax was approved by Chairman Stuart Levin and Vice Chairman Edward Galante.
``We're going into a fiscal year unlike any other,'' Levin said.
Officials expect to collect about $710,000 from the earned-income tax in 1997.
So far this year, township officials say, they have collected about $20,000 from the tax. But that is expected to increase dramatically in the coming months as the kinks are worked out of the collection system.
The key, they say, is how much they will collect from employees at the Great Valley Corporate Center, where firms are still distributing the earned-income-tax forms to their employees.
In an interview yesterday, Galante said he expected real estate taxes to decline in the coming years. ``As the earned-income tax is collected, I'm looking forward to our troubles being over,'' Galante said.
``But right now, we're talking about a township that still uses typewriters, has no voice mail, and needs, at the very least, $400,000 in road-paving work.''
Added to the 14 mills for general spending are 2.5 mills for debt service and 2.7 mills for fire protection. Final budget approval is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. in the township building on Route 401 in Frazer.
Increases proposed for 1997 include $100,000 to pave residential streets, as well as funds for two new trucks, a new telephone and computer system for police and administration, and the addition of two part-time police officers. There are now three part-timers on the 11-member force.
Also included is an 12.3 percent raise for Township Manager Donald Reimenschneider, who has served in that position for 33 years, making him the longest-serving township manager in Chester County. His salary will go up from $63,560 to $71,386.