Councilman to Business Leaders: No Tax Hike in Budget

Bensalem Council President Joe Knowles spoke at the most recent Bensalem Business Association meeting.


Township Council President Joe Knowles gave Bensalem business leaders some good news a couple weeks ago.

Knowles, a local realtor and lifelong township resident, spoke at the Nov. 14 Bensalem Business Association (BBA) meeting at the Philadelphia Private Gym. He discussed public service and the role of township council.

He said council votes on ordinances, resolutions and land developments. The panel also approves the mayor’s department head appointments.

“But council’s main job in Bensalem is to pass the budget,” Knowles explained. Then he sprung the good news.

He told the businessmen and businesswomen that there would be no tax hike in the township's $67 million budget.

When asked what the budget’s largest expenditure was, Knowles said that the police department accounts for about 75 percent.

He noted that the township hasn’t increased taxes in over 16 years and that only 8 cents of a homeowner’s tax bill goes to the township.

“Most of it goes to the school district,” he said.

Knowles also noted that the township plans to continue the $100 homeowner grant program. Although the grant checks have decreased in recent years, Knowles said Bensalem is the only town in Pennsylvania to give back casino money to its residents.

“It doesn’t make sense to give a larger rebate and then raise taxes,” Knowles said.

When asked about the role of council in supporting small business, Knowles told the interested group that the township tries to “be reasonable with business requests, maintain township services and keep the environment of good community in Bensalem.”

“If Bensalem is a good community, people are going to want to live here and people are going to want to do business here,” he said.

The BBA’s next meeting is Dec. 12 at Parx Casino. The guest speaker will be state Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson. It will be followed by the group’s annual dinner.

For more information, contact info@bensalembusiness.com or 215.245.0802.

About Council President Joe Knowles

Knowles was one of 12 children to grow up in Bensalem and matriculate through St. Charles Borromeo School.

His grandfather was the first postmaster of the Cornwells Post Office and his father was a family doctor and founding member of the Bensalem Rotary Club.

His father died in 1982 and didn’t leave the family a lot of money, but did leave them with a great family name, Knowles said.

Knowles and his wife Elesa have two children – Joe and Elesa.

The council president told the BBA that he grew up a Democrat but switched to the GOP for his son who was “Sean Hannity at four years old.”

Jason Mukai November 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Joe was a wealth of knowledge and I'm glad he was a guest speaker. I was impressed with the dedication he has made over his life to public service. It says a lot about him as a human being.
Bill DeFalco November 27, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Once again the Bensalem Business Association guest speaker was very informative. Mr.Knowles gave an interesting talk. I was glad to have been there.
Dave Fiedler November 28, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Greetings Bensalem Businesses. If your business is not yet signed up as partner with Bucks County Vet ID Card Program call me to learn more, 267-885-7583. Providing discounts or special offers to veterans is a nice way to say thank you for their service, and it brings new customers to your door. There are now over 7,000 cards issued in the county--most in the lower third. The county does a good job of communicating and marketing to veterans information on businesses that are participating. It's a win-win! Call me. Thanks, Dave Fiedler (representing Bucks County Government on the program)
Matthew November 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Didn;t we just have a $200 tax increase??????? Do the Math!!!!
Matthew November 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Oh yea our water rates have gone up over 400 % since we sold the water department, oh yea, our trash collection rates have tripled in the past 10 years,!!!!!


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