Author’s Note: This is lengthy post. I would encourage all residents of Cheltenham Township to take the time to review it in its entirety.

The Cheltenham Township Commissioner Board will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday evening, 14 July at 7:30pm to discuss a proposed 50% increase to our Earned Income Tax (EIT).

Recently, our Township paid nearly $100,000 to have a study conducted by a Municipal Financial Consulting Firm, PFM Group Consulting. To offset some of the costs of the study, our Township received a grant from the state in the amount of $60,000.

What should come as no surprise, our Township is facing serious financial difficulties according to the study.

On a side note, prior to the presentation made by PFM Group Consulting at the most recent Commissioner Board Meeting, a vote was held by the Commissioner Board to borrow more money for future Capital Expenditures. The vote was unanimously adopted by the Board. Part of the study made by PFM Group Consulting addressed the amount of debt we will be taking on.

The study by PFM Group Consulting concluded that if we continue to operate as usual, we will exhaust our current $7.2Million Fund Balance Surplus by 2025, thus creating a Fund Balance Deficit of approximately $19Million.

The study concluded the only way to mitigate this pending disaster is to increase taxes across the board (with special emphasis on some) and to impose new fees (which they claimed were not to be confused with taxes) among other recommendations.

One tax that received special treatment was the Earned Income Tax (known as EIT). Currently, our EIT rate is 1%, which is withheld as payroll tax on our paychecks and is collected by Berkheimer Associates. The study concluded that the EIT rate should be increased by 50% which would mean the new rate would be 1.5% of our pay.

The only way our Commissioner Board can increase the EIT is to amend Cheltenham Township’s Home Rule Charter. To do so, the voters must agree by voting “Yes” to a Ballot Referendum. In order for the Referendum to appear on our Ballots in the upcoming Election in November, the Commissioner Board would be required to adopt an ordinance to amend the Home Rule Charter and file it with the County Election Board by 4 August- which is a little over three weeks from now.


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.


The Cheltenham Township Commissioner Board will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting this Tuesday evening, 14 July at 7:30pm to discuss the proposed increase in the EIT rate. To join the Virtual Town Hall Meeting, please note the details below. If you require assistance joining the Virtual Town Hall Meeting, please contact us via email at Officers@CheltenhamGOP.Org.

The Virtual Town Hall Meeting is open to the Public.  To join the meeting, please note the following instructions:

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 820 2518 2326
Password: 305187
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+13017158592,,82025182326#,,,,0#,,305187# US (Germantown)

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+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 820 2518 2326
Password: 305187


  1. Ken Moskowitz says

    Before a vote on raising taxes, the Board should be hiring experts to advise on more efficient and effective methods of delivering services? The consulting firm should consider are the services needed and whether a different and more effective way of delivering vital services can be obtained at the present or reduced tax structure? Has the Board considered the effects of an increase might have of property values and home sales?

  2. According to the PFM report, the 50% EIT increase was supposed to be put on the November ballot as a referendum. I don’t recall seeing this proposal on the ballot, nor is it on the official ballot from MontCo’s voter website. Did the Township overlook this or were they not required to put it on the ballot? Berkheimer is starting to send out notifications so I’m sure more residents are going to have questions.

    • Thom Estilow says

      Happy New Year, Josh. Your recollection is correct. At the time of the PFM report, a Ballot Referendum was required in order to increase the EIT & the Township Commissioners were heading in that direction. However, on 23 July 2020, Governor Wolf signed State Senate Bill SB1188 into law. That bill essentially allowed Municipal Governments to increase the EIT without a Ballot Referendum. As such, the Commissioner Board unanimously voted on 16 December 2020 to enact the 50% increase beginning in 2020. I hope this answers your question. Would it be possible to reply to this message so I make certain you received it? THANKS!!

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