The owner of the average-value Delaware County home will pay a little more than $700 a year in county property taxes under the 2013 budget approved this week.

The nearly $330 million budget calls for a millage rate of 5.452, a hike of 0.15 mills, or 2.8 percent, which county Executive Director Marianne Grace proposed to the County Council last month. Under the spending plan the council approved Wednesday, the owner of a home assessed at $130,000 - which translates to an estimated market value of about $180,000 - would pay $19.75 more in county property tax a year, according to county officials.

Last year, taxes were raised 2.3 percent.

County Councilman John McBlain said county departments overall did a good job of cutting costs, as the council had requested.

In her budget proposal to the council in November, Grace said that although county staff had been able to reduce expenses in several departments, the budget was "negatively impacted" by shortfalls in state reimbursements involving the county-owned Fair Acres Geriatric Center and 911 system support.

Though Grace wrote that her office was "very much aware of the difficult ongoing economic conditions faced by many of our residents," she said a tax increase was necessary to maintain services like geriatric care, mandated human services, 911 response, and other public safety and court operations.

Contact Rita Giordano at 610-627-2649.