Delaware County residents will pay 7.4 percent more in county taxes next year, after the Council unanimously passed a $309 million budget today.

With local and school taxes rising as well, several county residents asked council members to take a closer look before passing the budget.

"It's well known that the population has suffered," said David Bevan, an Upper Providence resident who helps elderly residents with their taxes. Bevan added that it was "not your job to exacerbate" the economic conditions.

Council Vice Chairman John "Jack" Whelan said many of the economic factors contributing to the tax increase were out of the board's hands.

"I can tell you without a doubt the hardest thing for Delaware County Council is when we have to raise taxes," he said. "We did our best to minimize the tax increase."

The higher real estate tax will yield $10 million in additional revenue. Higher court costs and county pension contributions account for much of the tax increase. The council also approved a new contract with union employees that includes 3 percent pay raises in 2010.