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Cost of Community Services: Hopewell Township, York County, Pennsylvania

This March 2002 report found that for every $1.00 in revenues received from farm, forest, and other open land properties in the Township, only $0.59 was spent in providing municipal services. The Township made a $0.41 profit on every $1 received from open space. This finding is particularly noteworthy considering that the municipality had focused its highway department expenditures on its rural roads during the year of the study. 19 pages.

The COCS study found that in Hopewell Township:

  • While 89.2 percent of revenue in 2000 was generated by residential land uses, 5.1 percent was generated by commercial land uses, and 5.7 percent by farm/forest/open land;
  • Fully 95.8 percent of th e township’s expenditures went towards services for residentia land use, compared with only 1.4 percent for commercial/industrial uses and 2.8 percent for farm, forest, and open land.
  • In other words, in fiscal year 2000 for every $1 of revenue generated by residential property in Hopewell Township, $1.27 was spent providing services to those lands. For every $1 received from commercial and business land uses in the township, only $0.32 was spent to provide services. For every $1 received from farm/forest/open land uses in the township, only $0.59 was spent providin g services.
  • Revenue from farms, forest and open space would be higher but for the Commonwealth’s Clean and Green program. Yet revenues were not so low that farm land/open space does not provide a surplus.
  • Particularly noteworthy is our findings that expenditures weigh more heavily from farm, forest and open land use than would be expected, even in light of Clean and Green. This is because Hopewell Townships’ highway department concentrated their efforts in 2000 heavily on roads classified within farm, forest or open space category of land use. The township decided to concentrate a large percent of maintenance and repairs to bridges, highways, signals and signs to these roads in 2000, not typical yearly expenditures on roads surrounding farm land/open space.  Calculating a five-year average would provide a more balanced picture of highway department expenditures.