Op-Ed: ‘The Truth About Lower Saucon Township Taxes’

Print More
Est. Read Time: 2 mins

As a past president of the Se-Wy-Co Volunteer Fire Company I have intimate knowledge of the financial burden equipment purchases put on our volunteer fire company. That’s why in 2018, by UNANIMOUS vote, Township Council raised the fire tax from .5 mils to 1 mil. This was in response to a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development survey that highlighted the need to replace rapidly aging apparatus. Lower Saucon Fire Rescue noted the need to purchase a new ladder truck because it no longer met National Fire Protection Association standards for insurance coverage. The cost of the truck was $1.5 million dollars, funds our township did not have without raising the fire tax. With a 20-year timeline provided by township finance director Cathy Gorman to regularly replace aging equipment in the township, we all agreed to approve the tax increase. So to be clear, we did not raise all township taxes, we increased the fire service tax to provide funding for the new ladder truck and other needed equipment moving forward. My opponents have since cut the fire services tax, and refused to honor the township’s promise to pay their 75 percent share of the truck in full. By cutting the fire services tax, we are depriving our volunteers of the life-saving equipment they desperately need.

The earned income tax my opponents claim they cut was actually the open space tax. The open space tax, by virtue of Pennsylvania law, was scheduled to expire this year. Council’s ordinance complying with state law is merely a formality any council would adopt to be in compliance with the law.

If elected your next councilman, I pledge to support our volunteer and unionized emergency responders, something my voting record in 2018 and 2019 confirms. What would happen if our township volunteers didn’t volunteer??

Sincerely,

George Gress Lower Saucon CouncilGeorge Gress
Candidate for Lower Saucon Township Council

Note: Opinion-editorials and letters to the editor should be about local topics of general interest. Letters intended for publication may be submitted to josh@sauconsource.com for review. All letters must be signed and include contact information for verification purposes, if necessary. Opinion related to the upcoming general election must be submitted no later than Tuesday, Oct. 26, as no letters will be published between Thursday, Oct. 28 and Election Day, Nov. 2. All letters are published at the discretion of editorial staff.

Leave a Review or Comment