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2009 Pennsylvania Township Supervisor Survey

Response Summary

Total Started Survey: 185
Total Completed Survey: 174 (94.1%)

Page: General

1. What is the range of your township's fiscal year 2008 general fund budget?

answered question 182
skipped question 3
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Less than $100,000 4.4% 8
$101,000 to $250,000 8.8% 16
$251,000 to $500,000 17.6% 32
$501,000 - $1 million 23.6% 43
$1 to $5 million 38.5% 70
$5 to $10 million 4.4% 8
$10 million to $15 million 1.6% 3
Over $15 million 1.1% 2

2. During your tenure in office has your township budget increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?

answered question 182
skipped question 3
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Increased 69.8% 127
Decreased 4.9% 9
Stayed About the Same 25.3% 46

3. During your tenure in office, have your township's tax rates increased, decreated or stayed about the same?

answered question 183
skipped question 2
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Increased 42.1% 77
Decreased 7.7% 14
Stayed About the Same 50.3% 92

4. If the General Assembly were to enact legislation to enable townships to implement or raise other taxes to lower property taxes, which tax would be your preferred tax to impose or raise?

answered question 182
skipped question 3
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Earned Income Tax 47.3% 86
Sales Tax 36.3% 66
Mercantile Tax 4.4% 8
Business Privilege Tax 5.5% 10
Other (Toggle View) 6.6% 12

5. What percentage of your township's revenue is generated from property taxes?

answered question 181
skipped question 4
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Under 50% 75.1% 136
51%-60% 11.6% 21
61%-70% 4.4% 8
71%-80% 2.8% 5
81-90% 5.5% 10
91%-100% 0.6% 1

6. How long have you served as a township official?

answered question 180
skipped question 5
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Less than 6 years 33.3% 60
6-12 years 23.3% 42
More than 12 years 43.3% 78

7. To what political party do you belong?

answered question 175
skipped question 10
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Republican 66.9% 117
Democrat 29.1% 51
Other/Independent 4.0% 7

8. What is the range of your earnings as an elected township official?

answered question 160
skipped question 25
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Less than $2,000 55.0% 88
$2,000 to $2,999 18.1% 29
$3,000 to $3,999 5.6% 9
$4,000 to $4,999 1.9% 3
$5,000 or more 19.4% 31

9. What is the population of your township?

answered question 181
skipped question 4
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Less than 2,000 26.5% 48
2,000 to 5,000 42.0% 76
5,000 to 10,000 17.1% 31
10,000 to 15,000 13.3% 24
15,000 to 25,000 1.1% 2
25,000 to 35,000 0.0% 0
35,000 to 50,000 0.0% 0
Over 50,000 0.0% 0

10. Estimate the square miles of your township?

answered question 165
skipped question 20
Response
Count
Other (Toggle View) 165

11. How would you best describe your township?

answered question 182
skipped question 3
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Predominantly Rural 61.5% 112
Predominantly Residential 14.8% 27
Predominantly Commercial 1.6% 3
Balanced Mix of Rural/Residential/Commercial 22.0% 40

Page: Policy

1. Do you think Pennsylvania has too many municipalities?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 17.4% 30
No 72.1% 124
No Opinion 10.5% 18

2. Do you think the number of townships in Pennsylvania should be reduced?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 14.0% 24
No 76.7% 132
No Opinion 9.3% 16

3. Would you be willing to merge your municipality with a neighboring municipality?

answered question 171
skipped question 14
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 29.8% 51
No 60.8% 104
No Opinion 9.4% 16

4. Would you be willing to merge your municipality with a neighboring municipality if such a merger resulted in higher taxes?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 2.9% 5
No 90.8% 157
No Opinion 6.4% 11

5. Do you think municipal mergers should be mandated at the state level, or should merge decisions require voter approval in the affected municipalities?

answered question 171
skipped question 14
Response
Percent
Response
Count
State Mandate 2.9% 5
Voter Approval 90.1% 154
Other (Toggle View) 7.0% 12

6. In your opinion, why are cities in Pennsylvania losing population while townships are gaining population? (You may select more than one answer.)

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Crime 79.8% 138
High Taxes 72.3% 125
Poor Schools 60.7% 105
Traffic/Congestion 69.4% 120
Don't Like Urban Lifestyle 45.1% 78
Municipal Services 27.7% 48
View - Other (please specify) 12.1% 21

7. Do you favor increased state or county taxes to provide additional revenue to cities that are losing population?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 3.5% 6
No 89.0% 154
No Opinion 7.5% 13

8. In your opinion, how important is the school system when people are deciding where to live?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Very Important 74.0% 128
Somewhat Important 25.4% 44
Somewhat Unimportant 0.0% 0
Very Unimportant 0.6% 1

9. Do you favor the current system smaller school districts; or would you favor larger school districtsorganized at the county level?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Smaller Districts 64.7% 112
Countywide School Districts 25.4% 44
No Opinion 9.8% 17

10. Do you think local taxes should continue to be collected by municipal tax collectors, be collected at the county level or be collected by a private firm?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Local Tax Collectors 72.8% 126
County Level 16.8% 29
Private Firm 5.8% 10
Other (Toggle View) 4.6% 8

11. Should distressed municipalities be mandated by the state to merge with another municipality?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 19.1% 33
No 61.8% 107
No Opinion 19.1% 33

12. Should county government take control of a distressed municipality?

answered question 171
skipped question 14
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 18.7% 32
No 66.1% 113
No Opinion 15.2% 26

13. Do you favor increasing county property taxes to pay for the cost of rescuing a distressed municipality?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 5.2% 9
No 91.3% 157
No Opinion 3.5% 6

14. Should services such as fire or police be regionalized?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 53.5% 92
No 36.0% 62
No Opinion 10.5% 18

15. How does your township provide for police services:

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Have Own Department 39.9% 69
Participate in Regional Force 4.0% 7
State Police 56.1% 97

16. If your township relies on state police for police services, what would you do if the state imposes a per capita fee for those townships without municipal police service?

answered question 118
skipped question 67
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Form Own Department 5.1% 6
Join Regional Police 30.5% 36
Pay the Fee 64.4% 76

17. Do you think the regionalization or services and/or the consolidation of municipalities via merger will result in cost efficiencies and lower taxes?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 22.1% 38
No 67.4% 116
No Opinion 10.5% 18

18. Has your township had to reduce services in order to keep on budget and avoid raising taxes?

answered question 171
skipped question 14
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 25.7% 44
No 74.3% 127
Don't Know 0.0% 0

19. Does your township have a "rainy day" or contingency fund?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 67.6% 117
No 31.2% 54
Don't Know 1.2% 2

20. What is the biggest problem facing your township?

answered question 167
skipped question 18
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Low Commercial Tax Base 20.4% 34
Aging Infrastructure 9.6% 16
Affordable Housing 5.4% 9
Lack of Medical Facilities 1.2% 2
Emergency Medical Services 1.2% 2
Sprawl 7.8% 13
Roadway Conditions/Traffic Problems 33.5% 56
Trash Collection/Disposal 0.6% 1
Law Enforcement/Police Protection 3.6% 6
Lack of Parks/Recreational Activities 1.2% 2
Concentrated Animal Feeding (CAFOs) 0.0% 0
Other (Toggle View) 15.6% 26

21. Is open space preservation a high priority in your township?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 51.2% 88
No 40.7% 70
No Opinion 8.1% 14

22. During your tenure how would you describe business growth in your township?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Significant Decline 1.7% 3
Some Decline 7.0% 12
No Change 39.5% 68
Some Growth 39.5% 68
Significant Growth 12.2% 21

23. If your township experienced residential, commercial or industrical growth during your tenure in office what would you say is the biggest problem associated with that growth?

answered question 143
skipped question 42
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Traffic 42.7% 61
Crime 3.5% 5
Flooding/Run-Off 14.0% 20
Sewage 21.7% 31
Trash Collection/Disposal 0.7% 1
Other (Toggle View) 17.5% 25

24. If bringing new business to your township is a high priority, what type of business would you like to see developed?

answered question 153
skipped question 32
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Manufacturing 35.9% 55
Retail 13.7% 21
Tourism 7.2% 11
Office 9.8% 15
Service/Technology 24.8% 38
Other (Toggle View) 8.5% 13

25. Does your township have any inter-municipal agreements or inter-municipal authorities?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 85.5% 147
No 14.5% 25

26. If your township does have inter-municipal agreements, how would your rate their effectiveness?

answered question 148
skipped question 37
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Very Effective 58.8% 87
Somewhat Effective 37.2% 55
Not Very Effective 4.1% 6
Very Ineffective 0.0% 0

27. Do you favor having your township enter into inter-municipal agreements?

answered question 168
skipped question 17
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 89.3% 150
No 10.7% 18

28. If you favor inter-municipal agreements for your township, which type do you think would be most beneficial?

answered question 160
skipped question 25
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Police 20.0% 32
Sewer 17.5% 28
Planning & Zoning 18.1% 29
Highway 14.4% 23
Purchasing 20.6% 33
Other (Toggle View) 9.4% 15

29. Does your township have a comprehensive plan?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 84.3% 145
No 15.7% 27

30. If YES, how old is your comprehensive plan?

answered question 146
skipped question 39
Response
Percent
Response
Count
0 - 5 Years 53.4% 78
5-10 Years 22.6% 33
Over 10 Years 24.0% 35

31. Do you believe your township's zoning ordinances are adequate and up-to-date?

answered question 156
skipped question 29
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Yes 73.7% 115
No 26.3% 41

32. What percentage of your township's land mass would you estimate is developed, either residential or commercial?

answered question 172
skipped question 13
Response
Percent
Response
Count
0-20% 30.2% 52
20% - 40% 42.4% 73
40% - 60% 19.2% 33
Over 60% 8.1% 14

33. Do you favor or oppose county government taking control of land use, planning and zoning in your township?

answered question 173
skipped question 12
Response
Percent
Response
Count
Strongly Favor 4.6% 8
Somewhat Favor 12.7% 22
Somewhat Oppose 13.3% 23
Strongly Oppose 69.4% 120

34. Please provide us with any additional comments your would care to make on these or any other issues affecting township government in Pennsylvania.

answered question 53
skipped question 132
Response
Count
Other (Toggle View) 53

Taking the Pulse of Pennsylvania