UPDATE November 9, 2022: Newtown voters approve EMS tax increase. See below.
At the July 13, 2022, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Newtown Ambulance Squad (NAS) Chief Evan Resnikoff requested that the BOS authorize the Solicitor to place a referendum on the November ballot to include increased millage allowance in excess of the 0.5 Mill cap permitted by the Second Class Township Code for emergency services.
At the August 10, 2022, BOS meeting, the supervisors approved a resolution that provides for such a referendum to be placed on November 8, 2022 ballot. As Mr. Resnikoff explained, a 0.5 mill increase would amount to about $1.81 per month in additional real estate tax for the average Newtown Township homeowner.
The referendum shall read as follows: “Do you favor the imposition by Newtown Township of an additional one-half (1/2) mill of real estate tax annually to support ambulance, rescue, and other emergency services serving Newtown Township?” (note the caveat below).
As reported very early Wednesday morning (Nov 9, 2022) in the Patch, here are the results so far:
- Yes — 5,200 (58%)
- No — 3,840 (42%)
Before the vote, I decided to survey Newtown Township residents to see how they intend to vote on this issue. As of 7 AM November 8, 2022, I have received 156 responses from Newtown Township residents: 65% said they would vote “Yes”, 26% said they would vote “No”, and the remainder (9%) were undecided. See comments below.
Some Questions About Finances
There were a couple of comments/questions regarding available NAS financial data*:
- No info on what qualifications will be required for new-hires. Same training/certification/experience level as usually required? Or will there be levels of hires and more training required, and how would this affect the cost to the residents? What is the current ratio of EMS to residents and how does this compare to adjoining townships? Will these services be shared with other towns (e.g. Wrightstown)? Need all details before deciding how to vote. Thanks.
- What is the breakdown of the sources of funding for this provider? taxes,insurance billings, donations,fundraisers etc. what is the total revenue generated. are there private conpanies (sic) that serve this area also?
Mr. Resnikoff presented some NAS financial information at the July 13, 2022, BOS meeting. The data are summarized in the table and chart below.
- Taxes too high already. Just stop.
- what is the breakdown of the sources of funding for this provider? taxes,insurance billings, donations,fundraisers etc. what is the total revenue generated. are there private conpanies that serve this area also?
- These Servants are well worth everything they can get.
- Newtown Supervisors have demonstrated themselves poor stewards of the tax dollars - increasing taxes year after year. Tax and spend liberals.
- How does a "non average" resident compute the impact of this resolution passing?
- Taxes too high already.
- Unable to vote not a citizen but a rate payer
- They deserve the increase.
- The local EMS service needs our support. It’s not that small of an increase, less that a trip to Starbucks. I hope people do the right thing and vote “Yes for EMS”. Help the people helping us to continue serving our community!
- Refreshing to see taxes going to good use.
- Overtaxed already. Reduce spending elsewhere and appropriate those monies to this if as important as portrayed in the article.
- I also contribute annually for Ambulance services which I was told helps to offset costs paid by my Insurance company, if I ever use the service. Will this still be required to be be paid ?
- I’m ok with paying more if the Borough residents also pay their fair share. As it stands now I would vote no as it doesn’t seem like Borough is being asked to pay more and already they pay less.
- I believe it is necessary.
- I’d rather see the township cut expenses rather then raise taxes again.
- Taxes are too damn high already. Stop spending so much money.
- It is not right to rely on donations for emergency services. Also, it is not fair because everybody can have to use these services. So, yes, this is a case where a minor tax increase is justified. I also think it should be automatically adjusted for inflation every year. Otherwise we will be asked for donations again soon.
- In addition, wWrightstown Township should pay more of its fair share for our police force responding to their needs. Thanks.
- Of course they need funding! Hope it passes!
- They are worth every dollar we can give them.
- On another issue, thank you for voting against Wawa's latest plan.
- Leaning towards no. Wondering why the money can't be found elsewhere without raising taxes on residents.
- Well deserved increase!
- We definitely need to support our Newtown Emergency Medical Services!!
- Thanks for all you do?
- These services require community help, and it's clear that private donations aren't cutting it.
- No brainer. People DEMAND the service and even complain when it does not meet their often unreasonable expectations but they expect government to somehow pay for everything while trying to make itself disappear. Short sighted and improbable.
- Small amount for an important service. I trust that it's needed.
- As a senior on social security, it is difficult to pay more, though I know it’s an important service. Seniors should be able to lock into a rate when they retire and not face the ever rising school taxes!
- The answer to everything is not tax more but to provide service within budget At some point you can’t keep taking more and more money
- We need to do a better job at providing emergency services to the residents of Newtown Township!!
- A very small price to pay to support these essential services for Newtown residents.
- "Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force."
- The pandemic has taken a toll on our emergency responders. The least we could do is help fund their operations.
- I do not know whether cuts in other spending could fund this effort. That is usually possible, but also usually not implemented. If the Town would take bids and contract for one trash/recycling service for the town, we could save on road repairs and have improved quality of life for our residents, something other towns do with great success and savings to homeowners. With that direct expense savings, perhaps an increase to fund emergency medical care and ambulances would be much easier to pass.
- It is important to ensure we have the best emergency services available. Compared to what we squander in frivolity, this is money well spent.
- I and my 6 year old grandson both live with TYpe 1 Diabetes, so these services are of high importance to us.
*The referendum refers to “other emergency services serving Newtown Township.” To me – and I can be wrong – this means some or all of the money can be used to help finance the independent township EMS service, the volunteer Newtown Fire Association, and/or the Newtown Township paid fire department as well as the NAS! Obviously, the stated intention of the current BOS is to use all the money to support the NAS, but who knows how future supervisors will allocate the funds.
Posted on 21 Aug 2022, 01:18 - Category: First Responders