The Fairview Township Board of Supervisors held two special meetings in October and has prepared its 2018 budget. Next year’s budget will reflect a slight tax increase, as the board agreed to enact a fire-services tax. That tax will increase a resident’s mileage by .0003, meaning that, for every $100,000 of assessed value on a property, a homeowner will pay an additional township tax of $30.
The township’s general budget for next year will be $1,656,322, with the property tax rate remaining the same, at .0085 mills. The budget for 2017 was $1,486,766, with no tax increase. The 2018 budget will be voted on at the next Board of Supervisors meeting, on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p. m.
Originally, the fire-services tax was going to go to a public vote. This was proposed by the Mountaintop Hose Company earlier this year after its long-running bazaar ended due to lack of volunteers and profitability. The bazaar contributed to 35 percent of the fire department’s budget. The hose company is completely dependent on fundraisers and donations to operate and the loss of the bazaar, along with a steady decrease in monetary donations sent to the fire department by residents, led to the exploration of a fire-services tax.
In October, Fairview Township was informed by Luzerne County’s Bureau of Elections that it could not hold a referendum on the fire tax because municipal law allows townships to approve tax increases of up to 3 mills without a public vote. At the Nov. 7 Board of Supervisors meeting, David Hourigan, hose company president, stated that he was pleased the supervisors agreed to the tax and noted he’d be detailing what it all means for residents in the fire department’s upcoming newsletter.
Also at the Nov. 7 meeting, Secretary Barbara Wasiakowski read information from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors that explained about a new law passed that would allow mini casinos –or those that would house 300 to 750 slot machines