News

Paying for police coverage is again an issue

February 14, 2019

In his annual budget address this week, Gov. Tom Wolf has once again proposed that the Commonwealth charge a fee to Pennsylvanians who rely on State Police coverage in their communities rather than a local or regional police force.

The argument supporting such a fee is that this “free” State Police coverage is subsidized by the roughly three-quarters of Pennsylvanians who also pay for their own local police coverage. Those who opt to disband their local police forces or never had one in the first place generally pay significantly lower local property taxes.

Whether this proposal stands a better chance of adoption this year after failing to gain traction in previous budgets remains to be seen, but few policymakers articulate the reasoning better than state Rep. Mike Sturla of Lancaster, who chairs the House Democratic Policy Committee. To read a Q&A interview featuring Sturla and PennLive reporter Wallace McKelvey, click here.

 

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