No Say For Fairview Residents In Fire Tax Decision

The residents of Fairview Township will not have a say this November on whether they will be taxed for fire services. Instead, the Board of Supervisors will decide and that determination will come later this month, when the board members create the 2018 budget for the township.

At the board’s Oct. 3 meeting, Mountaintop Hose Company President David Hourigan explained why the tax will not go to a public vote. Luzerne County’s Bureau of Elections denied the referendum request because municipal law allows townships to approve tax increases of up to 3 mills without a public vote. The proposed fire tax would increase a resident’s mileage by .0003, meaning that, for every $100,000 of assessed value on a property, the homeowner would pay an additional township tax of $30.

The discussion of a fire-services tax began earlier this year when it was announced that Mountaintop Hose Company’s long-running bazaar, held for 44 years, was ending. Lack of volunteers, attendees, and profitability were cited as reasons for ending the bazaar, which contributed to 35 percent of the fire department’s budget. The hose company is completely dependent on fundraisers to have good insurance, but it still