Local Tax Hikes Add To Burden Around Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At least 11 of Luzerne County’s 76 municipalities are increasing real estate taxes this year, according to statistics compiled by the county treasurer’s office.

These increases are on top of an 8-percent tax hike for all county property owners, which amounts to $42 more on a $100,000 property.

White Haven has the highest percentage increase — 31.6.

The owner of a $100,000 property in the borough will pay $60 more, with a tax bill increasing from $190 last year to $250 in 2014.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1138044/Local-tax-hikes-add-to-burden-around-county

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Blair County Representatives Visit Reading

If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.

That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.

“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.

The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=454375

Joining Forces Regional Approach To Policing Effective But Not Easy

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a certain charm to a small-town police force such as Chief Richard Leisey Sr.’s department in Mohnton.

“Our residents like to see our car,” he said. “With a small department, we know the people who are in town, who they are, where they live.”

Like a number of other Berks County police chiefs, Leisey fears that personal touch would fade if his department joined a regional police force.

But as budget cuts force small departments to work fewer hours, cut officers or even disband, the idea of a regional force is looking better and better to Leisey.

“We would have 24/7 (local coverage) again,” he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=450019

Super-Regional Police Force Being Considered In York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

A new study is about to begin that would consider merging the following police departments:  York City, Dover, East Manchester, Manchester, Springettsbury and Spring Garden townships, Manchester, Mount Wolf and West York boroughs.  Several of these departments are already part of regional police forces but will consider further consolidation to make one super-regional police force.  Benefits include elimination of duplicate administrative positions, more combined personnel and access to specialties that some of the smaller departments now lack.

A state grant of $39,000 will go toward the $78,000 cost of the study.  YorkCounts, a local nonprofit group, is picking up the other $39,000.

York City Police Captain Russ Tschopp said “It would make sense to work together.”  Captain Tschopp also stated he thinks public safety would be improved.

We agree.  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for putting petty politics aside and doing the right thing by taxpayers.  Public safety should be the number one concern.