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Residents in Wright Township vote for higher taxes

Prices for almost everything are increasing, but remarkably, residents in one community in Luzerne County chose to pay more in taxes.

MOUNTAIN TOP, Pa. — Do you want to pay more taxes? That's the question voters in Wright Township were asked during Tuesday's primary. 

Fifty-five percent voted yes, and the residents there aren't surprised.

"I know gas prices are going up and everything, but even a little bit just helps them out," said Nicole Kochel from Wright Township.

The Kochel family lives right across the street from the Wright Township Volunteer Fire Department. 

Tuesday's vote increases each resident's taxes by an average of $44 starting in 2023. 

That money is going right to the fire station.

"I think it's a good decision, just because I know a lot of the times they have issues getting the donations," Nicole said.

"They need more backing money-wise," said Lynelle Kochel, Nicole's mother. "It seems like a lot of the area fire departments are updating their equipment and they don't really have the resources to do that."

Lynelle is an associate member of the department and says the support will go a long way. 

She said the volunteers deserve more, even if it means higher taxes.

"If it was for a school tax, they would probably say, 'no, we've had enough,'" Lynelle said.

"Many times we pay taxes and we're not entirely sure where they go and one just becomes very skeptical about these things," said Brett Yarczowar of Wright Township. "This was not that circumstance."

Yarczowar has lived in Wright Township since 2003. 

He said he appreciates the department's service and needed it recently. 

Wright Township firefighters were among the volunteers battling the brush fire near Mountain Top in late April. 

The fire chief tells Newswatch 16 that the tax revenue will help the department upgrade its fleet of firetrucks without having to shift focus away from protecting the community.

"They support us, they turn out of us, they risk their lives for us, they put their lives on the line for us," Yarczowar said. "This is a time when I'm voting 'yes.' There was no hesitation in my mind."

The Wright Township chief said he's grateful the community supported this tax increase and believes it will make a big difference. Wright Township residents will see those increases in 2023.

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