John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
The Other Cost of the Opioid Epidemic: Increased Taxes

The Other Cost of the Opioid Epidemic: Increased Taxes

According to an article in today's Intelligencer,  Bucks County property taxes will go up 5.4 percent in 2018 to cover a $10 million budget deficit that commissioners say is due to the expenditure increases related to the ongoing fight against the opioid epidemic (see summary below).

We've seen the impact on EMS costs right here in Newtown when Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Operations, Newtown Ambulance Squad, asked the Town for the reinstatement of a 0.5 mill tax to cover increased costs mostly due to a 58% increase in opioid calls in the first 8 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 (for more on that, read "Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding"). This adds a significant cost to the healthcare system including EMS because greater than 80% of these patients have no insurance and cannot pay the fees.


The increase in County tax would mean a typical Bucks County homeowner would pay about $45 extra in real estate taxes in 2018. If Newtown adds its own EMS tax, a typical Newtown Township homeowner could pay an additional $40 in taxes above that amount or a total of $85 per year.

The County tax increase would have been even higher if Emergency services did not tap into $2 million of state funding.

Meanwhile, where's the money from the federal government as a result of declaring this a "National Emergency?" Trump said "The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It's a national emergency. We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” Trump told reporters at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

 

Posted on 26 Dec 2017, 13:17 - Category: Opioid Epidemic

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