Lackawanna County Commission finalizes 2021 budget

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Lackawanna County Commissioners approved the taxes for the 2021 budget Tuesday.

When you think of 2020, economic downfall might come to mind, but if you live in Lackawanna County and were afraid of an increase in property taxes in 2021, you’re in for a treat.

The Lackawanna County commissioners approved the taxes for the 2021 budget Tuesday. A few things shifted around but Chief Financial Officer Thomas Durkin says taxpayers will pay the same amount of property taxes as they did last year.

“Lackawanna County’s taxes for 2021 will be identical to Lackawanna County’s taxes from 2020,” said Durkin.

He says they estimate a multi-million dollar deficit but will pull from an accumulated surplus to cover it.

“If the $2.2 million is accurate at the end of 2021, our accumulated surplus at that point in time will be reduced by $2.2 million down to $18.8 million,” said Durkin.

A few things are changing financially. The county is getting a new medical examiner and a few part-time employees were switched to full-time at the sheriff’s office. Durkin says the county didn’t take that big of a hit from COVID-19.

“We had the good fortune of getting almost 19 million dollars of CARES Act money that was distributed to Lackawanna County. Now, we’ve used that to offset some of the additional out of pocket expenses,” said Durkin.

Now once again, there has been some movement in finances internally, but Lackawanna County taxpayers will not see an increase in property taxes in 2021. If you’d like to see a breakdown of the budget, you can find that on the Lackawanna County website.

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