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Virtual Town Hall: 2020 Earned Income Tax Referendum

Event Date:
Tuesday July 14, 2020
Event Time:
7:30 PM

2020 Voter Referendum to Increase Cheltenham's Earned Income Tax

Important News for all Cheltenham Township Residents and Taxpayers:

Proposed November 2020 Ballot Referendum - Earned Income Tax

The Proposed Referendum

In an effort to address the Township’s financial challenges in a manner which is both equitable and avoids unduly burdening our residential property tax payers, the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners proposes a change to our Code that would enable the Township to collect up to an additional 0.5% of Earned Income Tax (EIT) revenues.

Why the Township Board of Commissioners Is Proposing this Referendum

This past year, Cheltenham received a State grant to study our Township’s current and projected financial situation. The final Report was presented publicly at our June 17 legislative meeting.

Findings of that Report confirm serious financial challenges – ongoing and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic - and make a number of specific recommendations to the Board and Community, which include expense reductions, operating consolidations and selective increases in certain revenue categories.

Increasing the Earned Income Tax is one of the most consequential of these recommendations. The current EIT levies (1%) only on the wages paid to those gainfully employed. Of that, half is allocated to the Township and the other half to the Cheltenham Township School District. For example, if you earned $50,000 in gross wages as per your W-2 form, your EIT obligation is $500 for that taxable year. The Proposed Referendum would change our Code to enable the Township itself to collect up to an additional 0.5% of Earned Income Tax revenues.

EIT funding represents both an equitable and more substantial source of revenue, with the responsibility to pay the EIT solely on those who are or were employed during the calendar year. The Board of Commissioners recognizes the growing burden that real estate taxes impose on our residential taxpayers and the fact that our real estate millage and special fees fall short of the financial requirements to enable the Township to deliver the essential services you need and expect from your government.

  • The proposed referendum improves the Township’s ability to provide essential services.
  • The proposed referendum helps to preserve Cheltenham Township’s quality of life.
  • The proposed referendum reduces the Township’s reliance on future real estate tax increases.
  • The proposed referendum avoids additional burden on seniors and retirees who do not earn wages.
  • The proposed referendum minimizes the impact on those who may have suffered a loss of employment due to the pandemic.


Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
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Phone: 215-887-1000   ~   Fax: 215-887-1561
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