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Falls Keeps Taxes at 1992 Rate

The last time Falls Township raised taxes Bill Clinton was President, a gallon of gas cost $1.05 and the average cost of a new home was $122,500.

While housing costs and most, if not all, other expenses have increased since 1992, the Falls Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to continue its track record of fiscal responsibility with the introduction of its $85.5 million 2018 budget.

Since 2014, Falls Township’s millage rate has been 7.22. The 7.22 mill tax rate represents the lowest tax millage rate the township has had since the 1992 budget was passed, according to Finance Director Betsy Reukauf.

Property owners will continue to pay $216.60 for an average assessment of $30,000. The owner of the average Bristol Township property, by comparison, pays more than $1,000 in local taxes.

Falls is able to maintain its services – and offer trash pickup free of charge – without instituting an Earned Income Tax, as many other towns have done.

Falls Township has the lowest tax rate as compared to Lower Makefield, Bensalem, Northampton, Lower Southampton, Middletown and Bristol townships.

Of the local taxes collected from Falls Township property owners, the township receives 3.69 percent – less than 4 cents per every dollar – while Pennsbury School District collects 83.2 percent and Bucks County receives 11.87 percent.

Despite receiving only a fraction of taxes collected throughout the township, Falls elected officials have worked hard to do more with less, year after year. Since 2012, the township has seen its pension obligation more than double from $1.3 million in 2012 to a projected $2.8 million in 2018 – all while the state contributions remain at about $500,000.

In addition to holding the line on municipal taxes for more than 25 years, the fiscally responsible Supervisors also earmarked $2 million from its 2018 spending plan for savings. With the additional $2 million in savings, the township’s long-term restricted account will grow to $32 million, according to Township Manager Peter Gray.

The budget allocates $2.8 million for full-depth road reconstruction of two roads in the Hedgerow Woods section of Falls Township: Walton Drive (from Lions Drive to Bernard Drive) and Share Drive (from Elbow Lane to Bernard Drive). In-house mill and overlay projects are planned for Biles Lane and Third Street. In addition, $154,000 is budgeted for improvements to the intersection of Levittown and Mill Creek parkways. PennDOT’s Green Light Go program will provide matching grant funding.

Falls is planning $470,000 in new vehicles, computer equipment, firearms, training and supplies for the Falls Township Police Department.

Other 2018 projects include tree trimming and removal of trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer at Falls Township Community Park.

The proposed budget is available for public inspection through Dec. 18. The Falls Township Board of Supervisors will adopt a final budget during its Dec. 19 meeting. 

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