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 was 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.
No fire tax money is used for the purchase of supplies for the ambulances.
No fire tax money is used to pay any employees of our ambulance service.
We can now 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 and the building. Our annual utilities such as electric, telephone, natural gas, repairs and maintenance to equipment, etc. also are paid with Fire Tax money.
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 $400,000 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.
ACT 13 - Act 13 is a tax on the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas industry. Clinton Twp. receives taxes collected by the State on Gas Drilling activities. There is a formula for the amount provided to Clinton Twp due to its location within Lycoming County and the support industries located within the Township such as Halliburton and others. When these taxes are provided to Clinton Twp from the State, the Township Supervisors voted to give 25% of any funds received to the Fire Company and the remaining 75% goes into the Township's coffers.
ACT 7 or Local Services Tax - This is the $52 per year tax that is collected from anyone who is employed within Clinton Township and earns more than $12,000 per year. This tax is also divided between the School District, The Township, and the Fire Company. The Fire Company receives 25% of the total collected after the School District receives their portion. The Township receives the remainder.
Without the 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.