Pa. fire department sees nearly $60K increase after voter-approved tax change
West Deer Township residents approved a fire tax change from flat fee to millage rate
By Haley Daugherty
WEST DEER, Pa. — West Deer voters saw two additional questions on their ballots on Election Day — one regarding the township’s fire tax, and the other for elected auditors.
Both referendums passed according to Allegheny County Elections Department’s unofficial election results.
The majority of voters have decided to change the fire tax rate from a flat fee to a millage rate.
Previously, township homeowners paid $40 per year per household and each business paid $100 per year for fire protection.
With the referendum passed, depending on people’s assessed property value, some township property owners would see reductions in their fire tax or an increase in their fire tax.
The fire tax will not exceed a half-mill.
That would give West Deer’s three volunteer fire departments about $132,000, a significant increase from the $75,000 from the previous tax.
Elected auditorsWest Deer voters have decided to discontinue elected auditors.
West Deer residents have decided to accept a referendum that would take elected auditor positions off the ballot for the first time in almost 50 years.
According to Township Manager Daniel Mator, the results do not change anything process-wise, but it will eliminate the confusion of having the position of elected auditors on the ballot.
For the past 20 years, the township has appointed an independent, municipal auditing firm to complete the audit. Although elected auditors occasionally show up on the ballots, they do not complete the audit, Mator said.
Often, the township has no elected auditors.
The average property assessment in West Deer is $117,600. Under a half-mill fire tax, that homeowner would pay $58.80 a year for fire protection, Mator said.