HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Tom Wolf has announced his support for legislation that would impose a fee to municipalities that rely solely on Pennsylvania State Police for local police coverage.
Wolf said some municipalities are not paying their fair share for police protection. To compensate for that deficit, he said money is taken from the Motor License Fund that would otherwise go to roads and bridges.
“It’s time for every Pennsylvanian to pay their fair share,” Wolf said.
House Bill 959 and Senate Bill 741 would base the fees on population, from $8 per person in municipalities with populations less than 2,000 to $166 per person in populations of more than 20,000.
During its first year, supporters say the fee would raise an estimated $104 million for state police operations, services, and cadet classes
“Without the solution this proposal provides, we are in danger of experiencing an immediate budget crisis,” state police commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick said.
House and Senate Republican leaders said they’re concerned that smaller municipalities would be forced to pay this fee while a city like Philadelphia, one of the biggest users of state police services, would be exempt.
State troopers are the only police force in 1,291 of the state’s 2,561 municipalities, according to state data. Another 419 municipalities get part-time coverage. The remaining 851 pay for their own police force or share.