Post-Gazette: Towns to pay for state police

This as appearing in the July 2, 2008 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.This is part of a post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association (PLCA).

HARRISBURG — Tax rates would quadruple in Westmoreland County’s Unity under proposed legislation that would require some municipalities to pay for their state police protection, a township supervisor said.

House Bill 2563, introduced by Rep. John E. Pallone, D-New Kensington, would require all communities with more than 10,000 people that don’t have a municipal law enforcement agency to either establish a local police force or pay an annual fee of $100 per resident for state police protection. There are 21 such towns in the state.

The Pallone bill would be “an unfunded mandate,” objected Unity Supervisor Jacob M. Blank.

To pay for state police coverage under the plan, Unity’s 21,000 residents would watch their municipal tax rates balloon by perhaps more than four times, Mr. Blank said.

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Image of Westmoreland County, courtesy of Wikipedia. See the breaking news Web item I wrote on this story yesterday.

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