ERIE, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget comes with a major tax increase for municipalities without a local police force.
If the budget passes, municipalities who rely on state police for protection will be forced to pay an additional $25 per person, per year. And some municipalities are not staying quiet about it.
“It is simply a money grab,” Harborcreek Township supervisor Dean Pepicello. “There is not one trooper added, one car, none of that. It is simply punishing those local municipalities who are fiscally responsible and can add and subtract for doing what the state can’t do, and that’s add and subtract.”
Harborcreek Township has always relied on state police to protect its citizens with each person paying for that service in state taxes. But now, under Wolf’s proposed budget, each person will pay an extra $25 a year for state police protection.
Pepicello said it is unnecessary as they have donated $500,000 to build a new state police barracks within the township.
“For us it is kind of a slap in the face,” he said. “When we offer all of this land for them to build a brand new barracks and now they want to impose a tax on us were we get nothing for it and will cost our taxpayers a half a million dollars.”
However, Fairview Township officials said they understand Wolf’s reasoning and though they want to look into it more, they believe it is fair for the township to pay for security.
State Sen. Dan Laughlin said he is not sure if $25 is the right amount for the tax, but believes it is the right thing to have these municipalities kick in more for state police services.