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Some Bucks Co. residents say "raise taxes"

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 13 2013 05:04:54 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 06:12:25 PM CST

ITN Lehigh Valley is a brand new transportation service that provides rides for residents over the age of 60 to anywhere in the Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton area.

EAST ROCKHILL TWP., Pa. -

Most people cringe at the thought of a tax increase but some in Bucks County are going against the grain and actually asking for one.

Down in East Rockhill Township, Bucks County officials aren't proposing a tax hike but some citizens say it's a better solution than cutting police funding.

"To me it's worth it," said one East Rockhill Township resident.

Worth it to some because East Rockhill Township wants to cut close to $180,000, about 20% of its funding, for the Pennridge Regional Police Department.

"We have struggled financially over the last few years," Township Supervisor David Nyman said.

Pennridge Regional Police serve both East and West Rockhill Townships.

"On a whole you always see them. They're always patrolling, always around," resident Walt Kernaghan said.

But Nyman says 60% of service calls are over in West Rockhill.

"We do not get a full 50% of what the coverage provides therefore we felt we could reduce what they are requesting because we have not used that much in the past," he said.

Pennridge Chief David Mettin says the force covers both townships equally.

He adds the cut in funds will cost the department one full time and two part time officers, about 20% of its staff, a staff that he says is undermanned already.

"I think my taxes are too high now," Cliff Mckelvey said.

That's the other side, on average the tax hike would be $100 per household.

Cliff McKelvey says retirees like himself and others on a fixed income will be financially hit the hardest.

"Should be other things they can do. I don't know what but it would be nice if there was another alternative," Mckelvey added.

One Nyman says could be West Rockhill picking up the additional tab.

West Rockhill Township officials say they're not happy about the funding cut but at this time have no plans to increase funding on their part for the Police Department. But said that could change in the future.