Newtown News Update

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Newtown Township Manager Proposes Tax Increase

Recommends 2 Mills Increase to Cover Shortfalls

Newtown Township Manager Kurt Ferguson presented his recommended 2018 budget to the Board of Supervisors on October 16, 2017. Ferguson noted that the “Township continues to face shortfalls. This does become more prominent as we continue to face capital expenditures that we need to make to maintain the level of service our residents have come to expect,” he said.

To compensate for those shortfalls – due mainly to the decrease in Earned Income Tax (EIT) revenue when Lockheed Martin left town – Ferguson recommended the implementation of 2 mills tax increase (.ie., property tax increase) being assigned to the general fund.

In the past, Newtown Township has been able to enjoy a much lower millage rate, as compared to most of our neighbors (see Tables 1 and 2).

According to Ferguson, “there is currently zero mills being dedicated to the general fund. With a current Township wide assessment of $344,418,300 those 2 mills would generate an aggregate total of $688,837,” he estimated.

At the October 11, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Newtown Ambulance Squad requested the re-instatement of the 0.5 mill EMS tax. Read more about that here.

Newtown Issues Survey Update

Keeping Taxes Low is Very Important

As of October 19, 2017, 198 people have responded to my online “Issues Affecting Newtown Survey,” which allows respondents to rate the importance of each issue and to add comments as well as issues that are not included in the survey. The following bar chart is a summary of results:

The last summary of results was published (here) on September 13, 2017, when 100 responses were collected. Water Quality, Open Space, School Safety, and Drug Abuse remain the top 4 concerns of residents, in that order.

While the Township Supervisors mull over Mr. Ferguson's recommendation to increase taxes, “Keeping Taxes Low,” however, moved up to the #5 slot with 52% of respondents saying this is “very important” to them. Previously, only 35% of respondents considered keeping taxes low as very important.

Meanwhile “Attracting New Business” dropped to last place with only 36% of respondents considering this to be “very important.” However, that is still very close to the 39% reported in September.

There were 23 new comments, such as:

  • “Bring in programs and facilities for Seniors. Plenty of programs for youth.”
  • “Stop building. Its (sic) already too crowded in this town. The HOA boards have too much control. They go ahead and make decisions without consulting residents. We're paying the monthly fees. There should be better communication between the two groups.”
  • “Stopping developers from walking all over our Board of Supervisors and strong-arming there way through the system. Too many businesses (e.g., the NAC) do now (until they are caught) and ask permission later. We need to find a way to fairly enforce our zoning laws while still encouraging reasonable business growth.”
  • “In regards to new business, I'm interested in new business that are not commercial chains, pizza places and banking institutions. It'd be nice to see some new small restaurants in town that aren't sports bars or itallian (sic). New Hope as been booming while it seems like whenever a new place proposes to open in Newtown, the board cringes at the thought of them serving alcohol.”
  • “My greatest concern is the development of the shops in the village of Newtown and the one on S. Eagle Rd. I'm afraid that all of the changes being made still will not attract quality vendors, and the traffic that it will cause is going to negatively impact the neighborhoods surrounding it.”
  • “No Wawa please!”
  • “1. Term limits 2. Term limits 3. Spend my money judiciously. 4. Term limits”
  • “Preservation of open space yes, meaning woods, fallow fields, farms etc. Not more damn ball fields. They are empty most of the time, take time and money to maintain and do nothing for biodiversity. Huge waste of literally MILLIONS of tax dollars building and maintaining these things. Trails are fine for walking or biking through nature.”
  • “Not enough street lights within our development. Not bright enough at night.”

Meet and Greet Democrat Candidates

YOU ARE INVITED with your neighbors to meet our Democrat local, county and state candidates and officials. Wine and appetizers will be served.

Please join us and get to know the candidates for this important upcoming election on November 7. Attendees will include:

Diane Marseglia Bucks County Commissioner

Steve Santarsiero Chief Deputy AG, Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania

Judi Reiss LMT Supervisor, Prothonotary Candidate

Fred Weiss LMT Supervisor Candidate

We also hope to have a few more special guests! Please join us on:

Friday, October 27 | 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Carol and David Clift, 967 Hunt Drive, Yardley, PA 19067


John Mack for Newtown Supervisor