Edward Furman, a partner at Maillie, LLC, presented a summary of the 2018 audit to the Newtown Board of Supervisors at the October 10, 2019, public meeting. You can download the complete audit here. Last year, I summed up Furman's opinion thusly: "As long as non-resident Earned Income Taxes are not severed, all is well in the Newtown Township financial garden."
Real Estate Taxes Remain Low
Newtown Township has one of the lowest real estate tax rate in the region (see chart below). Currently, the Township relies entirely on earned income tax, real estate transfer tax, and a local services tax to fund the general operations of the Township. No real estate taxes go into the General Fund to pay for things like the police department and the public works department. Here's how those taxes are used:
- Debt Service (mostly to pay for the Administration building): 2.625 Mills
- Fire Protection: 0.875 Mills
- Rescue Squad: 0.450 Mills
- Fire Hydrant Maintenance: 0.550 Mills
Financial Challenges Ahead
In 2020, Newtown Township faces financial challenges including unfunded state environmental mandates (see Pollution Reduction Plan Approved), non-resident Earned Income Tax (EIT) uncertainties (the Township suffered a "tremendous" loss of EIT when Lockheed Martin shut down and the property remains underutilized), real estate transfer tax decline (fewer new houses being built), the need for additional staffing (especially in the Police Department and Public Works), and the need to improve infrastructure (e.g., road repairs).
Posted on 07 Oct 2019, 10:20 - Category: Finances