Two bills could have municipalities paying for State Police services


HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY — About one in five Pennsylvanians live in a community without a local police department and rely on State Police to act in that capacity. Now, some lawmakers want them to pay a fee for those services.

While about 80 percent of the population pays for both state police through state taxes and local police through local taxes, the other 20 percent does not pay for local police services, relying on PSP. Some lawmakers believe it’s time for that to change.

“It’s time for every Pennsylvania to pay their fair share,” Governor Tom Wolf said.

That’s what Gov. Wolf believes would be accomplished with the passage of House Bill 959 and Senate Bill 741. They would require municipalities that rely on state police to provide full-time local police services to pay a fee.

“A lot of people decry welfare recipients. We’ve got $600 million worth of welfare recipients here,” Representative Mike Sturla said.

The fees would be based on population, from eight dollars per person for municipalities with populations of less than 2,000 to $166 per person in populations of more than 20,000.

“Without the solution this proposal provides, we are in danger of experiencing an immediate budget crisis,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick said.

State police in 2016 received $802 million from the Motor License Fund. But now, a cap is being put in place to direct most of that money to road and bridge maintenance. Supporters say these bills are a way to provide PSP with much-needed revenue.

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