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Consultants Propose Three Scenarios to End Newtown Township's Deficit Spending – All Involve Significant Tax Increases

Consultants Propose Three Scenarios to End Newtown Township's Deficit Spending – All Involve Significant Tax Increases | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

[ESI laid out three different scenarios going forwarded as shown in Slide #22. All involved real estate tax increases.]

 

Hiring several new employees, including three police officers and an assistant township manager, are among recommendations from a consultant for improving Newtown Township finances over the next five years.

 

A consultant also suggested looking into regionalizing more services including police operations.

 

The township hired Econsult Solutions Inc. [ESI] for $69,450, half of which is being covered with a grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, to develop a five-year financial plan (read “Newtown Township To Develop a 5-Year Financial Plan”; http://bit.ly/5yrplanRFP-NP). Steve Wray and other company officials presented findings from its preliminary report during a recent virtual meeting with township supervisors (see here: https://bit.ly/InterimESIsummary).

 

Among the other recommendations was increasing property taxes 6.5 mills from its current 4.5-mill total [to new total of 11.0 mills] to bolster operating revenue, provide more money for capital projects and allow less reliance on the earned income tax, the township's main source of revenue. [See UPDATE]

 

Hiring an assistant township manager would free Manager Micah Lewis and other staff members up to do more work on long-range economic development, which could bolster revenue, Wray reasoned.

 

And bringing on three new police officers would lift staffing closer to where it needs to be and cut down on overtime and compensatory day costs, Wray added.

 

Supervisor John Mack also suggested more employees in the public works department, a move that would allow the township to repave and repair more streets and make it a more desirable place to live and do business, he said.

 

Another revenue enhancer was the possibility of requiring money from neighboring Newtown Borough for fire calls made there by township professional firefighters. No decision was made on the consideration.

 

"Our residents are paying for them to go into the borough and answer a call and we're not getting compensated," supervisors Chairman Phil Calabro said.

 

He added that the township could look into the possibility of entering into an agreement with Newtown Borough to provide policing services there. Newtown Township currently gets more than $500,000 a year in revenue for providing that service for neighboring Wrightstown.

 

"If they (Newtown Borough) paid us to patrol, they're taking an expense off their balance sheet and we're adding revenue to ours," Calabro said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

UPDATE: On September 23, 2020, the consultants presented an updated final version of its recommendation that RE taxes be increased by 7.25 Mills in 2021 and the hiring of 8 new personnel - including 5 career firefighters - in 2021 and an additional 2 police officers in 2022. More...

 

Related Content:

  • “Newtown Supervisors Review Interim 5-Year Financial Plan”; https://bit.ly/InterimESIsummary (includes selected slides from the plus audio snippets from the Zoom meeting).
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Newtown News of Interest
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