Governor Pushes for State Police Protection Fee

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Governor Tom Wolf calls it a crisis and says it needs to end.

The governor wants communities without police departments to start paying what he calls protection fees.

These communities are now patrolled by state police, and the governor says they are a growing burden on all taxpayers in Pennsylvania.

This is the second year Wolf is trying to get a so-called protection fee from communities that rely on state police.

This time, the governor hopes more Republican lawmakers change their minds.

The governor announced two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, that would require people living in areas covered solely by state police to pay a protection fee.

"Right now, some municipalities are not paying their fair share," said Wolf.

According to Wolf, 78 percent of Pennsylvania's population live in communities that have city or community police agencies. He says the other 22 percent get an unfair break.

"Their neighbors that rely on state police are enjoying lower local taxes, folks in those municipalities because they refuse to start or they even disbanded their local police departments."

The bills now being considered by state lawmakers would make communities without police forces pay a protection fee, with larger communities paying more per person.

The plan expects to raise $100 million of the $600 million now diverted from state highway funds to pay for Pennsylvania State Police coverage in places with no police department.

"Just think of the miles of roadways we could have repaired. Think of the potholes we could have filled. Think of the bridges we could have fixed," the governor said.

A spokesman for the Republican party in the State House says, "nothing has drastically changed," since the lawmakers rejected a similar proposal last year.

The Democrat sponsoring the bill hopes people in communities whose taxes funded local police departments take a close look at neighbors that get do get state police protection.

"I don't want to get too political here, but a lot of people often decry welfare recipients. We've got $600 million worth of welfare recipients here," said State Rep. Mike Sturla, (D) Lancaster County.

A Republican leader in the State Senate tells Newswatch 16 this plan isn't likely to pass because too many lawmakers come from rural districts filled with communities that state police protect at no cost.

The governor is asking lawmakers to pass the bills quickly.

The head of the state police says if they don't, there will be a budget crisis and future cadet classes may have to be canceled.

Leave a Reply to Sharkspeare (@Sharkspeer) Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

26 comments

  • Sharkspeare (@Sharkspeer)

    The governor makes a fair point. The police forces are underfunded and the rural areas are a drain. He’s right.

    Lots of people are fine with underfunding the police, and that is their right. I live in rural PA, and you never see a police officer. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford security, dogs, and cameras, and home defense. So it’s fine for me. For those who don’t have those means, you’d think they’d be okay with a minor tax increase in order to help pay for better services. But if not, that is their right. If things go sideways and they need police, they will just have to deal with whatever the tapped-out state police can manage.

    Nobody likes paying taxes, but we do it because we live in a governed society with services we all benefit from. What we all want is good value for our tax dollars. Some people value police services, some people don’t, and in America, you can choose.

  • Scott Poplawski

    Put the blame where it belongs! President Trump and the republicans gave the ultra rich the biggest tax cut in the worlds history. That’s why there’s no money for anything. Now they demand we pay their share. Thanks for nothing.

    • Crosstown

      Scott you do realize, 1 the President has nothing to do with your local Police Dept, and 2. This state is run by Democrats. When it comes to Pa’s taxes, it should be clear even to you “Ruined by Democrats”.

  • Brian Trible Sr.

    What a scumbag!!! Keep your hands out of our pockets!! Not sure how they were being paid before , but continue with that. You already stole that money for road repair and now want more!! If you aren’t going to use that money to fix roads the way you said you would do , then take all that tax back off because i’m getting tired of being ripped off! The government needs to be like the ordinary people and follow their household budgets. We can’t just tax people to get more money and they shouldn’t be able to either. If you want something special , save up for it. Tired of being taxed to death. I also believe that a lot of those people down there belong in jail. This state is really beginning to suck anymore with our crooked leaders ! Something needs to be done!!!!

  • Lisa Marshinski

    This govn’r needs to be impeached. Covering up non citizens voting in our elections (most likely his), telling Mayor Peduto of Pittsburg that he can violate the PA Constitution and pre-emption law, stealing our tax dollars, promoting child abuse by flying that rainbow flag on our state capital bldg. where the T stands for parents making their pre-pubescent children take hormones to alter their life, I could go on.

  • Bob Stevens

    Simple solution that does not require taxes or stealing money from other resources… take your personal safety and security into your own hands, carry a firearm, train, and stop relying on the state to “protect you”. Under SCOTUS ruling, police have no duty to protect you. They respond to crimes, not prevent them. Only you can truly ensure your own safety. Does your town not have police coverage or terrible response time? Form a local militia, call it community watch or whatever if that makes you feel more PC. Good people banding together to protect one another is a better solution than paying the state. They can clean up the mess after the first criminal thinks they can take advantage of hard working people who are armed, ready, and willing to defend life, liberty, and freedom.

  • greekgeek1955

    Gov. Wolf has been like Santa Claus for the teachers union and their educational requests. Pretty much given them a blank check as payback for their support of his reelection. This is one way he’s getting the money to cover that generosity.

  • Debra Wilber-Machmer

    People in Pennsylvania don’t need and can’t afford to pay more taxes. Looks to me like those governing Pennsylvania need to reevaluate the budget. Where is all of our tax money going? Where is all that tax money Pennsylvania is receiving from the gas drilling? Where is all that royalty money Pennsylvania is receiving? I understand Pennsylvania is NOT getting much money from the Casino’s, not what PA expected. I sure as hell never received any reduction of my property taxes.
    We have a property that is not covered by local police. We were robbed 5 times in which we reported 2 of the incidents. NOTHING was done. The house was old and Insurance would not cover it, only the property. The State Police Officer told us if we heard of any leads to call them. They did nothing, we never got our stuff back and the thief got away scott free. So they want me to pay an additional tax for nothing. And, also, it takes over an hour for an Officer to get to my property. If I were under attack by an intruder I would be dead long before the State Police arrived. From the time of my call to the State Police the intruder has an hour to do whatever they want to me, and my property, and be long gone before the Police arrive. So exactly what protection would I receive by paying more money.
    There has been a place in the budget to cover the cost of State Police and passing a bill to invent a new tax is not the way to solve any financial problem with that budget. I would like to know why the State Police fund is coming up short to the point they have to take money from another fund? Some mismanagement going on within the Pennsylvania Government? Why isn’t someone auditing Pennsylvania?

  • David Pekala

    Sadly so many comments here are ignorant of the facts. Fact: PSP is obligated under state law to provide police protection for those communities who do not have local police. Fact: PSP budget is already paid for from state income taxes so EVERYONE already pays for their portion of PSP protection that is beyond local patrol (i.e. SERT). Fact: Communities have shed their local police force in an effort to lower and/or control local budget knowing full well PSP has to provide coverage. Fact: For those communities receiving the extra benefit of local PSP coverage they DO NOT pay anything additional to the PSP budget. Fact: Everyone, not just residents of PA, pays the gas tax which ostensibly was passed to provided directed budget support to repairing PA infrastructure which is used by everyone and not just PA residents. Fact: PSP has been “raiding” this fund for several years to shore up their budget shortfall (see reasons above) which is taking monies away from their intended purpose. Fact: The state legislature is cowardly, incompetent, or both in coming to recognize this disparity in how these non-local police force communities are “stealing” PSP coverage without paying for it.
    In the end this is a brave proposal from the governor and it is time for these communities to either increase their budget to bring back local police or pay additional monies in the form of this tax. This is NOT an attempt to add additional burden to the local taxpayer but instead it is a valid attempt to level the playing field and bring parity to those who are paying for others to get something for free.

    • Caroline Frances

      Level the playing field? I wish they would do that for all the services people are receiving who contribute NOTHING. How about level the playing field for those who don’t have kids, and yet are paying for schools. How about those who have write offs from the federal income tax, and contribute nothing, yet receive benefits. I’m all for fairness, but lets do it all the way around. Fair is fair.

  • Charles Craft

    We’re not getting our roads repaired because municipalities are freeloading by not paying for their own police. So the revenue that should go to fix our roads is being used for state police protection that those municipalities are too cheap to pay for themselves. Time they pay for their own police or go without.

  • Erik Latranyi

    If passed, our infrastructure will not get fixed. This governor and other politicians will just find another way to waste our money.

    The truly greedy are not corporations or CEOs, but politicians!

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.