Across the River, Deliberations on New Jersey Taxes Cloud UMT's 2017 Budget     

The local tax news for now is good: Upper Makefield Township proposes a net tax reduction of 1.25 mils, barring bad news from New Jersey. 
The Township's preliminary budget for 2017 includes a 2.0 mil reduction in 2017 real estate taxes for the Township Open Space fund and a 0.25 mill reduction in the Building fund. These reductions are offset by a 1.0  mil increase in the General Fund tax, yielding a net reduction of 1.25 mils.
Washington_s Crossing Bridge between Upper Makefield Township_ Pennsylvania and  Hopewell Township_ New Jersey
Bridge at Washington's Crossing. Photo by Aerolin 55 from Wikimedia Commons
Looming over Upper Makefield's plan is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's proposed rescinding of his state's Reciprocity Agreement regarding non-resident wage taxes. 

If New Jersey takes some of Upper Makefield's residents' 2017 Earned Income Tax revenue (EIT), the Township could lose significant dollars in the General Fund budget and may need to further reformulate Real Estate Tax allocations. 
Upper Makefield Residents pay two key taxes, a Real Estate Tax, calculated by Bucks County's assessment of a property, and a 1 percent Earned Income Tax, which is shared 50/50 with Council Rock School District.  

Also unknown is how to budget for the Township's Emergency Medical Services agreement renewal and a union contract. Both topics may not be resolved before the 2017 budget is scheduled for adoption on December 20, 2016.
Interim measures, such as a possible hiring freeze and using a portion of the Township's fund balance, may not be enough to preclude a 2018 tax hike, according to Interim Township Manager David Nyman.
Upper Makefield Welcomes Officer Russi   

New Upper Makefield Police Officer Gerard Russi.
Upper Makefield officials welcomed Officer Gerard Russi at his swearing in this September 6, 2016. 
Officer Russi worked most recently for Tullytown Borough's police department. He has additional experience working security at Parx Casino and for the Pennsylvania State Police's Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (to stop underage buyers). He was a student intern at the nearby Northampton Township Police Department. 

His volunteer experience includes National Night Out events, the Tullytown Borough Community Cleanup, and the KUBOK Neighborhood Watch Program (Kutztown). View the UMT Police Department staff and structure here
Scudder Falls Project Benefits and Affects UMT Commuters

Prep work to replace the (I-95) Scudder Falls Bridge may cause some delays to southbound commuters this month. You can follow the progress of this project at this website: Scudder Falls Bridge .
To kick off the multi-phase plan, a new, four-lane-wide span will be built immediately upstream of the current bridge to minimize travel restrictions throughout construction. Next, the new span will carry all traffic while the old bridge is demolished and reconstructed during Phase 2. 

Once the project is complete, commuters and residents will benefit from: 
  • A reconfigured Taylorsville Road intersection
  • A redesigned Route 29 interchange with roundabouts
  • Improved acceleration and deceleration lanes
  • An all-electronic EZ pass toll for southbound traffic
  • A walkway connecting the Pennsylvania canal footpath to the New Jersey footpath
Although the current bridge is considered safe, it is nearing the end of its useful life. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2017 and is expected to continue into 2020. 


Brownsburg Road East Bridge Reopens
Bucks County officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 16 to reopen the Brownsburg Road East Bridge over Jericho Creek. The project was completed ahead of schedule and is now open to traffic in both directions.

Be Winter-Ready with Bucks Alerts 
When you sign up for Ready Bucks alerts, you have many options: Setting quiet times when alerts won't sound, choosing the types of alerts you want, and sending alerts to multiple devices. Each option is easy to change when needed. Sign up today! 

Residential F ire Safety Checks 
Fire Marshal John C. Kernan is available by phone to answer questions related to fire safety and prevention. For residents with special circumstances, or who require assistance, the Fire Marshal is also available to discuss home fire safety by appointment at your home.  Learn more on our Public Safety Pages

Seeking Upper Makefield Township Committee Volunteers
Each year, the Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors appoints citizens who are willing to serve on one of many standing committees. Are you interested in serving? For consideration, please view our  description of boards and commissions , and the simple, optional Volunteer Board Application

Things to Do

Kiwanis Club Tree Lighting and Food Drive
Friday, November 25, starting at 5 p.m.
Santa's 5:30 p.m. arrival is just part of the fun planned at this year's Annual Tree Lighting event

The event is held at the Village Green, located at Route 32 and Route 532 in Washington Crossing, Upper Makefield. 

The Upper Makefield Fire Company will deliver Santa in time to light the tree, and then Fire Company and Kiwanis volunteers will collect non-perishable food for the Penndel Food Pantry. 

The Pennsbury Chamber Choir with perform, and hot chocolate and cookies will be served.