Budgets

Lower Paxton Adopts 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets

On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the Board of Supervisors of Lower Paxton Township adopted the 2022 operating and capital budgets relative to the General (01), State Aid (Highway Liquid Fuels; 10), General Improvement (15), and Fire Protection Tax & Equipment (20) Funds through Resolution 21-36 as attached in budget package below.  Appropriations made within the budgets are balanced through the use of or addition to financial reserves in the respective funds based on estimated revenue and expenses for the fiscal period.

The initial public budget presentation was provided at the advertised Board of Supervisor’s Budget Meeting at the Township office at 5:30pm on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.  This presentation concluded a series of publicly advertised Budget Workshop meetings with individual department supervisors presenting departmental budget proposals for the 2022 fiscal year.  At the Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Board of Supervisor’s Business Meeting, action was taken to authorize the advertisement of the draft 2022 budgets for the above funds for a public inspection period of 20 days (November 25 through December 14, 2021), per Commonwealth Code, and no amendments have occurred relative to the public inspection budgets through final adoption.

General Taxation and Charges/Fees Hold at 2021 Levels

There was no proposed increase to the general real estate tax millage (1.554 mills) or the library services real estate tax millage (0.041 mills), nor any proposed increases relative to earned income, local service, or real estate transfer taxes as well as significant licenses/permits or related charges as currently established for Township services.

Looking to the Future of Township Emergency Services

Extensive Demand for Volunteers and Dwindling Citizens to Answer the Call

In the 1970’s, Pennsylvania had 300,000 volunteer firefighters. Today, that number stands at fewer than 30,000. The dedicated and hardworking volunteers with the Paxtonia, Colonial Park, and Linglestown fire companies have provided fire protection and emergency response in Lower Paxton Township for nearly 85 years. Each year the number of emergencies they respond to increases, as does the educational requirements set forth by the Commonwealth and the National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA).  

The substantial decline in the number of citizens willing to volunteer to provide these services throughout the Commonwealth has been experienced in Lower Paxton as well.  More than ever, rising operational, capital, and administrative costs caused by increased training requirements and requests for services require municipalities to supplement the volunteer model. This change must occur to ensure the Township is prepared to secure the health and safety of our community. 

Lower Paxton is the 15th largest municipality in Pennsylvania and is one of few municipalities of its size to rely solely on volunteers for its fire protection. For instance, the City of Harrisburg and Manheim Township, Lancaster County, both with a smaller population than Lower Paxton, employ paid career firefighters. Manheim Township shares similar demographics to Lower Paxton yet they employ 29 fulltime personnel which includes a fire chief, deputy fire chief, fire marshal, fleet mechanic, administrative assistant, 3 captains, 21 firefighter/emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) 48 part-time firefighter/EMTs and 30 volunteers. Our Township is nowhere near that level of need; however, there is still a growing need to supplement our volunteers with paid firefighters in the years ahead. 

Preserving Fire Protection & Emergency Response

To maintain safety at the lowest possible cost possible to taxpayers, the Township is embarking on a comprehensive reassessment of the current volunteer fire service and looking to eventually add a career deputy fire chief and likely paid part-time firefighters to supplement our volunteers. This reassessment would also encompass ensuring that Emergency Medical Services (EMS), for both basic and advanced life support (BLS and ALS), remain strong throughout our Township, which has seen increasing demand for these life-essential amenities.

To support the reassessment, the Township has implemented a 0.175 mill increase (an average of $34 annually based on a home valued at $200,000) to the current Fire Protection Tax of 0.4615 mills. This will help pay for the rising costs of new fire apparatus, an independent study of fire and emergency medical services, the hiring of a deputy fire chief to oversee implementation of the study’s recommendations and development of a long-range plan for Lower Paxton’s emergency services. 

Any questions relative to the adopted budgets or relating funds can be directed to the Township’s Finance Department at (717) 657-5600.

Copies

Copies of the budgets are available for review at the Township Municipal Center during normal business hours or select the budget year below to view a PDF version of the budgets.

  1. 2022
  2. 2021
  3. 2020
  4. 2019
  5. 2018
  6. 2017