Penn Township OKs 1-mill tax hike
The five fire departments in Penn Township will have a dedicated source of funding now that township commissioners Monday approved a 1-mill tax increase.
The additional revenue — about $242,548 — will be divided evenly between the departments and serve as a consistent source of income for years.
“Any funding that we get from the township is a big help,” Harrison City Volunteer Fire Department Chief Gene Good said after the meeting. “The more time we don't have to fundraise, the more time we have to train.
“Now we know from year to year we're going to get at least this amount.”
Township commissioners had been considering two 2013 budgets — one with the millage increase to provide a dedicated funding stream to the fire departments and a second with no tax increase. The board voted unanimously Monday to approve the $8.1 million 2013 budget with a millage increase, raising the real estate tax rate from 13.7 mills to 14.7 mills.
Each department will receive $48,509.60 from the fire tax, about $8,000 more than in 2012.
An audience full of firefighters applauded the decision, and many of them shook the hands of the commissioners after the meeting.
Township resident and state constable Paul Robinson asked the commissioners during the meeting to establish the fire tax.
“Our first responders have to have the best equipment, the best training, the best backing they can,” Robinson said. “Emergency preparedness is so important.”
Police Chief John Otto commended the board's decision but warned the public that the tax doesn't come close to completely funding the five departments — Claridge, Grandview, Harrison City, Level Green and Paintertown.
Commissioner Paul Wersing said that while the tax doesn't solve the long-term problem, it provides a partial solution to immediate needs of the departments. Wersing is the liaison between township emergency services and the board.
The increase in funding is “not a very big jump,” he said after the meeting, but the supplement could lessen the amount of fundraising needed and increase membership and training opportunities.
In instituting the fire tax, Penn Township joined at least 11 other county municipalities with similar taxes or fees, which range from about half a mill up to 2 mills.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Prison becomes detox center for growing number of inmates with addictions
- Westmoreland County Fair doubles as meet-and-greet for candidates
- ‘Perfect’ skies draw big crowds to Westmoreland Fair
- Ligonier Township equine facility breaks ground
- South Huntingdon: 33 years too long to pay fine
- Man gets probation for sex with teen girl in New Kensington
- 10-year-old Blairsville violinist’s expulsion over knife challenged
- Ligonier men claim arrests violated rights
- Westmoreland Manor fined $4,250 by state
- Scottdale man charged in robbery at car wash
- Ex-Ligonier Valley Midget Football treasurer Brewer accused of stealing $12K