Dauphin County says it will need a loan if state payments aren't timely

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 6, 2016 2:17 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Last week, Governor Tom Wolf authorized portions of a state budget, allowing money to flow to county governments, schools and social service agencies. But Dauphin County is still worried about getting paid quickly.

It's already received $5 million from the state, and is due millions more by the end of the week.

"It's extraordinarily close. We're right now to the point that if we don't receive those payments by next week, we will not have the cash flow necessary to continue to operate county government," says Commissioner George Hartwick..

But if payments weren't timely, Hartwick says the county would take out a $20 million loan to keep government functioning -- along with borrowing costs of about $20,000.

"Not state government responsibilities, not federal dollars that are supposed to take care of this, not additional other revenues, but county property tax owners are going to be footing an additional bill for something they're not required to do, and that's quite frankly, unacceptable," says Hartwick.

Hartwick says if the county needs the loan, he wants the state to reimburse it for borrowing costs.

Governor Tom Wolf's administration has already pledged to cover similar costs for schools and non-profits.

A spokesman for the governor says the Legislature should return to the Capitol to provide help for counties.

To sum this all up, speaking about Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders, Commissioner Jeff Haste sarcastically says: "I love having these kind of partners."

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