Communities react to proposed state police fee

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NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Reaction continues to be heard Tuesday night to the governor’s budget proposal to charge every community for the services of the state police.

The governor says the revenue is needed to help fund the force. The state police provides protection for hundreds of communities and assists many others. The governor insists this is the most fair way to maintain those services.

“My thoughts are we already pay our state taxes so why would we have to pay again. It’s just not fair,” said Jason Croughn of Nanticoke.

Croughn owns a barbershop in Nanticoke. He like many other folks Eyewitness News spoke with are against the governor’s plan to charge every community a fee to help fund the State Police. Nanticoke Mayor Kevin Coughlin thinks the fee is simply unfair.

“We have a big population of senior citizens they are on fixed incomes. We have a full time police force. We are already paying enough taxes here plus paying state taxes,” Mayor Coughlin said.

Under the governor’s plan, all communities would pay a fee depending on its population and what services they would require. Some communities need full police protection. Cities like Nanticoke would only need occasional back up. State Senator John Yudichak does not think the plan will go far in the state legislature.

“A double tax of $136 million dollar tax increase on every municipality. It’s a bad idea, we have to find another way to fund the state police,” Yudichak said.

Nanticoke would pay about $2 per resident or about $40,000 dollars a year. Seniors like Linda Croughn says that is a lot of money to those on fixed incomes with other fees and taxes also going up.

“I think that’s double dipping. We have our police station. They take care of most of the crime. These new taxes, you can’t pay so much taxes,” Croughn said.

The governor insists the fee will be fair and says his administration will work with communities moving forward.

Click here to see the proposed fees by municipality.

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