HomeMullica Hill NewsHarrison Fire District seeks two percent tax increase

Harrison Fire District seeks two percent tax increase

Despite minor increase, Harrison remains among the lowest in Gloucester county

Harrison Township residents will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed 2018 fire budget put forth by Harrison Fire District №1 on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The polls will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Harrison Township Municipal Building at 114 Bridgeton Pike.

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The fire district is seeking a 2 percent increase in the 2018 budget, the maximum increase permitted under law. This increase will equate to about a tenth of a cent increase from last year.

The 2017 tax rate per $100 was 0.076; the proposed 2018 increase would set the tax rate at 0.077 per $100.

Based on the average Harrison Township home value of $340,968, residents can expect a yearly fire tax of $262.55, a $3.41 increase from last year’s $259.14 tax.

With this increase, the district would pull in an additional $24,000, approximately.

Ken Powell, a commissioner on the board, said, “Given the ongoing challenges with maintaining our fleet of vehicles, which continue to grow in age, the costs of maintaining our vehicles continues to go up. … The plan was for this little extra revenue to be applied to the maintenance costs of our vehicles.”

Powell pointed out that one of the district’s ladder trucks has been in use for 15 years and one fire engine is being utilized for a 14th year. Powell explained these vehicles call for regular repairs.

Even with the tax increase, Harrison Township Fire District №1 will remain the lowest fire tax in Gloucester County.

In addition, the fire district and Harrison Township started the use of a shared service, a full-time mechanic to save taxpayer dollars.

“This mechanic will serve the fire district and the township well by saving tax dollars for our residents so we can look toward replacing some of our fleet vehicles in the future as their age continues to climb,” Powell said.

Mark Gravinese, Harrison Township administrator, said, “We have a unique partnership with many of our public entities in our community and with the county. The fire district is just one of them that we have been working on to help reduce operational costs and eliminate redundancy within both entities. In this case, we developed a shared service that will help our fire district reduce cost for vehicle maintenance and repairs. We [the township] also now have an additional resource to assist in township vehicle maintenance and repairs. The fact that we can do it right in our community affords us the opportunity to reduce operational cost that affect our taxpayers’ contributions overall. A win, win for all.”


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