Falls Approve “Mininimal” Tax Increase to Fund Fire Services
After holding the line on taxes since 1992, the Falls Supervisors approved a minimal tax increase for 2023 Monday night.
The board adopted the 2023 spending plan, which allocates additional funds for Falls Township’s three fire departments, Falls Township Fire Company, Fairless Hills Fire Department and Levittown Fire Company
The nominal boost in the fire tax fund – which raises the existing 7.22 millage rate to 8.97 mills – is the first time in 30 years that Falls Township increased municipal taxes. As adopted, the current fire protection tax rate of 1.75 mills will rise to 3 mills. In 1994, Falls Township voters approved a referendum to allow fire protection tax of up to 5 mills.
The owner of a Falls home assessed at the township average of $30,000 would pay an additional $52.50 per year for the fire protection fund. In all, the owner of a home assessed at the township average would pay a total of $90 annually for fire service.
In all, property owners would pay $269.10 for an average assessment of $30,000 under the township’s 2023 budget. The owner of the average Bristol Township property, by comparison, paid $1,036.40 in local taxes for 2022.
The last time Falls Supervisors raised taxes, a gallon of gas cost $1.05 and the average home cost $122,500.
Unlike neighboring communities, Falls residents are not assessed for trash and leaf pickup.
For decades, Falls officials have worked hard to do more with less. For every $1 paid in taxes, Falls Township receives just 3.5 cents. Yet, year after year the township sees spiraling pension contribution increases. Over the last decade, the township has seen its pension obligation nearly triple. Pension contributions surged from $1.3 million in 2012 to $2.6 million in 2017, with more than $3.5 million projected for next year, all while the state contributions have remained relatively flat.
The 2023 budget allocates $28 million for the design and construction of an expanded and renovated municipal campus; earmarks $4.6 million for the continuation of the annual road improvement program; and includes funds to cover several culvert replacement projects and drainage projects.
In addition, Falls plans to spend $470,000 on four new police vehicles, computer equipment, firearms training and supplies.
In all, $73,240,677 is projected to be spent in 2023.