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Governor Proposes Per-Person Fee for State Police Coverage

BROOKLYN TOWNSHIP -- Even though Governor Tom Wolf is proposing no tax increase, he is calling for a fee that could impact a lot of people in our area.

If your community relies on state police, he wants you to pay.

Pennsylvania State Troopers are solely responsible for two-thirds of the state's municipalities. Like many in Susquehanna County, Brooklyn Township doesn't have a local police department and never have in the over 200 years of its existence.

Brooklyn Township is home to a little more than 900 residents. Taxpayers have never had to pay for state troopers' policing their township or their own police department.

"It would bankrupt the township without raising the taxes. Then the people who live in this township couldn't afford to pay that difference," said Brooklyn Township supervisor Derek Oakley.

Brooklyn Township doesn't have a grocery store, a post office, or even a gas station.

"It's a low-income area, really, a lot of elderly people. There's just no way that we could afford that," Oakley said.

Governor Wolf is proposing every person in municipalities relying on the state police pay a $25 fee per year. Taxpayers are concerned about what that would mean for them.

"It would really be a hardship for everyone here, just for the simple fact that the income is limited," said Brooklyn Township resident Dava Rinehart-Cowan.

Rinehart-Cowan is worried about how her elderly neighbors would be able to afford it.

"Elderly neighbors would not, they're on a fixed income. They don't have a choice, but to pay whatever taxes come down the pike," Rinhart-Cowan said.

Even though she has a steady career with a steady income, she is also worried about what it means for her and her family's school taxes going up on a regular basis.

"We're being taxed constantly. Every year, they stay within the index. Last year they were actually above the index in our school district," Rinehart-Cowan said.

Many residents told Newswatch 16 they have been getting by just fine with the state troopers' assistance.

"It's a pretty tight community, everyone pretty much knows everybody and it pretty much stays quiet here," said Oakley.

"Moved back here for the simple fact that we wanted our son raised in a small town and not in a city," Rinehart-Cowan added.

55 comments

  • burtfan16

    If the state and counties won’t take care of policing these certain areas then it’s time we police it ourselves. Ignore CC permit laws, no jury will convict you of trying save yourself or your family’s life. I’d almost bet crime would go down in those areas.

  • Time to change

    Pehaps it’s finally time to change the laws to allow the elected Sheriff of every county to have full police powers like they do in many other states.

  • john williams

    36 years ago I had to dial 911 to call local police to remove a man from my property who refused to leave. It took 42 minutes for the Chief (he happened to be on duty at the time) to get there, he had an emergency with a car accident. He did call on the phone to be sure i was in no immediate danger. the only reason i wasnt in danger was due to my friends Sturm & Ruger. For those 42 minutes i was self protected. I still am today. I will refuse this TAX if it is ever levied. We pay for the state police already. It’s not our fault our elected officals can’t properly budget and spend like we all have to.

  • Michael Odonnell

    The state constantly dips into taxpayers hard earned money time and time again. First tobacco now state police what’s next alcohol and air. We’re paying to cover a deficit created by politicians and every time you turn around they create a new tax. When is it enough!!!!!

  • Pizontaxocrats

    This is ridiculous, I don’t need PSP’s “protection”, my wife and I both have CC permits and can handle our own deal, period, more big state government telling you what you have to do, nah. The cops can stay at the gas station flirting with the girls behind the counter, I’ll keep my 25 bucks.

    Governor Wolfbait is turning out to be a real turd, 2 more years to suffer it out then we get to flush him come election time.

    • PSP Super Trooper

      No kidding ! I had to have a letter sent to a mayors office and chief of police to keep some 24yo cop out of my mini mart. Every day this guy would come in and flirt with the girls stopping them from getting work done.

      • Tire Old Guy

        Don`t forget to mention the PSP corporal who was just arrested in Mountain Top for crawling into bed with a nine year and that in most places it takes anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes for response when they do come as they do not enforce local ordinances or respond to domestic calls unless there is an assault involved.

  • James

    This is absurd those of us that live in small towns that can’t afford or don’t need our own police are now going to be punished by Tom Wolf

  • frank

    Why should we have to pay for protection? We cant sue if they do not protect us. Only I am responsible for my and my familys safety. High gas tax, local tax, school tax, income tax, state income tax, ss tax, sales tax, now they want an extra fee for state police? I’ve paid enough.

  • taxation without representation

    The PSP only respond to DUI calls. You have to remember folks these are the same people who sat in their cars and visited with their ol’ cadet mates while the U.S. Marshals were searching for and found Frein. This $25 “fee” is being used for to pay the millions of dollars in cost for the blundered Frein fiasco.

  • keith r hinkel

    Here in Tioga County–my area the PSP drives thru perhaps one time a week at 90 mph! Call them and maybe–maybe an hour later they show. I am armed as are my neighbors–we protect ourselves! Go to hell Wolf–1x Gov. You be gone next election.

    • Capt Bogart

      Susquehanna County PSP doesn’t even drive thru. Local Police lack the resources and State Police don’t want to get involved. State Police have said numerous times, “this is a local issue” and wash there hands of it. Disband the worthless PSP!

  • Lisa H

    Screw that. I have called PSP and was told to call the township next to mine who has a police dept but then told them, well they only work PT 3 days a week and this isn’t their night! They said, well we will try to get someone out there. Nope Never happened. I DO NOT want to pay anything since the 3 times I’ve called 911 I was told to contact a local PD.

  • joemama1980

    The state police already get a large chunk of money out of our highest in the country gasoline tax. There’s plenty of fat to trim from the state budget. Governor Wolf, stop reaching into our pockets.

  • Meh

    better idea… buy some guns and ammo… AR’s are cheap now.. keep a 45 RD of green tips in it and your all set.

  • Bill K

    I know I’ll be getting my $25 worth. EVERY time I see someone who looks like they’re driving too fast it’s gonna be a call to the state police to report an unsafe motorist.

  • BR55

    First, PSP is funded mostly by motor vehicle registration fees (the $36 or more you pay to renew your plate every year). Second, more and more local departments are closing or going part time, because “Hey, the state police are free!”. So, those of you complaining about response times? Give it a rest. PSP is stretched so thin, it is ridiculous. Not happy with PSP service? Then don’t call with your nonsense (which is roughly 90% of what they have to deal with). Not a fan of Tom Wolf, but it’s a good idea.

    • Dane

      Sounds like you are an educated, responsible, community driven individual. I recall a incident where it took police (state police were covering) about an hour to respond to a shooting in Susquehanna borough because they were the only on duty law enforcement agency on duty in the county. At 3 AM you wont find many Troopers out because there is an extreme shortage of them.

      • joe

        You want untrained, uninsured (liability) armed volunteers using their own vehicles to protect you?
        NO insurance Co. is going to cover that.
        YOU sign up & when something bad happens because of your zealousness, YOU can be sued & lose everything you have.
        $2.00/Mo for PSP protection is cheap.
        The free ride is over.

  • BO

    I pay taxes in my township for police to keep me safe. It seems like something all citizens should want to be safe. Nothing comes free anymore. I would support this more if senior citizens and people on disability didn’t have to pay it though.

    • BO

      We have a police force in my town and my taxes go toward supporting it. I assume if we didn’t have a police force and we relied on state police coverage my taxes would be lower giving me the extra money to pay $25 per person per year. I do think the disabled and seniors should have to pay this fee though.

  • laura

    all he’s done was try and raise taxes since he got in. enough!!!! we pay for them already. through our taxes and through the income they generate with tickets

    • Dane

      Say they issue a citation for an expired inspection sticker. The total comes out to $129.00 the base fine is only #25.00. Half of that goes to the local municipality that the citation was issued in. $12.50. $12.50 to the magistrates office, the other $104.00 goes to other programs that support roads, child safety seats, driving education, etc. The State Police receive nothing out of the citations. The $25.00 a year per person is not unreasonable. Say Brooklyn Twp contracts with Montrose Borough for the police department to provide full time police coverage (even though they are a part time organization) you are looking at $35-$55 per head per year. I agree it’s garbage that it has come down to this. But you can thank your local politicians for refusing to regionalize police department for greater coverage, and your state politicians for refusing to allow the Sheriff’s department to have full police powers in the Commonwealth. If we fix those two things we can all have safer communities.

  • Jd

    25 bucks is 25 bucks. Ooooh, sorry fire dept, I cannot support your “volunteers” as the psp needs it more!? Bullsh#t!

  • i quit..

    NO NEW TAXES. HE HAS RAISED EVERY FEE IN PA ALREADY. WILL NOT PAY THE $25. I GUESS IF I DO NOT PAY COPS CAN NOT COME ON MY PROPERTY. WIN WIN.

  • pat

    Where’s the millions in natural gas money Susquehanna County received? Why don’t they use that? Never heard what they did with the money.

    • Manly Chesterson

      He’s a politician, what did you expect? All they ever say is “no new taxes” like a broken record player and then what do we get?…..more taxes. He’s an imbecile with the IQ of a common rat. Let’s tax people who rely on the response of PSP while we’re already taxing the hell out of gas that is waaaaay more needed. What a moron.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    What does wolf do, hit the crack pipe before he goes in to work? Where does he come up with this nonsense?

Comments are closed.