Clinton Township Fire Tax
Several years ago, during the early 1980’s the Fire Company requested that a dedicated fire tax be imposed to assist the Fire Co. with its budget. The first fire tax was .03 Mills on real estate for all properties in Clinton Township. This original Fire Tax generated approximately 12-13 thousand dollars per year to the Fire Company. This money is restricted in its use and it was a requirement that the expenditures of the tax money provided to the fire company be audited yearly with the results given to the Clinton Township Supervisors.
The Clinton Township Fire Tax was originally restricted in use. It could only be used for the purchase of fire fighting equipment or vehicles. It could not be used for any other purpose to operate the Fire Company. This meant that the electric or gas bills of the Fire Co. could not be paid for with Fire Tax money.
During the late 1990’s the Fire Co. requested an increase in the Fire Tax to assist with the purchase of equipment and to offset the need for so many hours of fundraising. The money required to operate a Fire Co. is always increasing but the hours available to volunteers to perform fundraising activities were decreasing. People simply did not have the time available to perform these tasks and the amount of money being raised was diminishing. People were simply not supporting the Fire Company, through fundraising efforts, enough to provide the funds needed to operate and provide the needed services.
Eventually, a 1 Mill fire tax was levied on real estate in Clinton Township. The current millage is much less due to the recent reassessment, but the amount generated remains the same. This meant that a property with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay a yearly tax of $100 to provide emergency services to the community. At the time of the increase, the average assessed value of a home in Clinton Twp. was $68,000. This meant that the average homeowner would pay $68 per year for Fire Protection. This amount was less than a yearly subscription to the newspaper. Most homeowners paid less than $0.25 per day towards their fire tax. The 1 Mill fire tax generated approximately $72,000 per year to the Fire Company and many of the restrictions on its use have been lifted by the Supervisors. However, there are still restrictions on its use such as:
No fire tax money can be used for the purchase of an ambulance.
No fire tax money can be used for the purchase of supplies for the ambulances.
No fire tax money can be used to purchase fuel for the ambulances.
No fire tax money can be used to pay any employees of our ambulance service.
We can now however, use fire tax money for the daily operation of the Fire Company and the facilities. The electric and natural gas bills can now be paid for with Fire Tax money when previously they could not.
So where does the Fire Tax money that I pay go? The majority of it goes towards monthly payments on Fire apparatus. This is repayment of loans from the State of Pennsylvania and they have an interest rate of 2%. This amounts to about $20,000 per year. It also goes towards a loan with M & T bank for equipment and the building that amounts to about $25,000 per year. Our annual utilities such as electric, telephone, natural gas, etc. cost approximately $20,000 per year. The balance of the fire tax money is used for payment of yearly required maintenance on emergency equipment owned by the Fire Co.
The annual operating budget of the fire company has been in excess of the Fire Tax revenue received by thousands of dollars and is now in excess of $300,000 per year. The dedicated Fire Tax in Clinton Township provides for less than one third of this budget. The remainder of our operations is funded with donations from the public, fundraising activities, ambulance transport charges, and a myriad of other sources such as grants and catering services that our members provide.
Without this dedicated fire tax and your continued support, there simply would not be a Fire Company or ambulance service to protect you in Clinton Township. There is not enough time for volunteers to give to raise this amount of money in their spare time.
If you have any questions regarding the Fire Tax, feel free to contact us with your questions.