News Briefs…

General News

Information obtained from the Suburban Realtor Alliance

Governor Wolf unveils 2015-16 budget
Property tax reform is among his highest priorities, announced Governor Tom Wolf. During his first budget address on March 3, 2015, Wolf laid out his plan to increase school funding, while reducing the tax burden on homeowners in Pennsylvania. Gov. Wolf’s proposal would not eliminate the school property tax, but he believes it will reduce the average homeowner’s property tax bill by 50 percent. To do that, the governor proposes imposing a tax on natural gas extraction, as well as an increase in personal income tax and sales tax. Last session, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® (PAR) engaged in a campaign to eliminate the school property tax in Pennsylvania. That plan, Senate Bill 76, would have eliminated property taxes dedicated to school districts and replace the funding by raising the personal income tax from 3.07 to 4.34 percent and increasing and broadening the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent to include previously exempted items. Click here for more.
Source: PAR JustListed; 3/4/2015

FCC Approves New Net Neutrality Rules
On Feb. 26, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new “net neutrality” rules, which gives the Commission strong legal authority to regulate broadband providers more heavily than in the past and restrict their power to control download speeds on the web.  The new rules ban Internet providers from blocking or slowing any traffic and from striking deals with content companies, known as paid prioritization, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers. The new rules are a victory for consumers, and for REALTORS® who embrace technology and online resources to meet the needs of their clients. NAR will continue to work with Congress as it considers net neutrality legislation to ensure that final rules work for REALTORS® and their customers. FindNAR Net Neutrality Resources here.
Source:; 2/27/2015

Calling all REALTOR® Candidates
If you are a REALTOR® and running in the upcoming municipal or county primary, the SRA would like to know. Please contact the Suburban REALTORS Alliance    

Bucks County

Lockheed Martin reaches agreement to sell Newtown property
Lockheed Martin announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its 57-acre property located in Newtown Township to KVK-Tech, a pharmaceutical company already located in the township. Lockheed Martin announced plans to shut down its Newtown Township operations over a year ago and had been marketing the property since. KVK President and CEO Anthony Tabasso said the company will settle on the property in June but will continue to operate out of its current locations on Terry Drive and Pheasant Run while also expanding into the Lockheed Martin property. KVK is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty pharmaceuticals, according to its website, that currently employs about 200 people. Newtown Township Supervisors Chairman Ryan Gallagher said, “It’s been a great partnership with Lockheed Martin, but we have another great one with KVK and we’re thrilled they’ve decided to expand their operations right here within the township.”
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 3/2/2015

Centennial seeks residents for planning committee
The Centennial School District is looking for residents interested in serving on a Comprehensive Planning Steering Committee. The committee will work over the next few months on future student needs, with district Superintendent Joyce Mundy and JoAnn Perotti from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit serving as committee facilitators. Interested residents will be asked to attend a committee meeting on April 15 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the board room of the Centennial District Administration Building, 433 Centennial Rd., Warminster, PA. Two additional sessions with an assigned small group committee may also be required. Residents interested in serving should send a letter of interest to Beth Katits at by March 11. Click here for the Centennial School District website for more details.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 3/2/2015

Teva to sell West Rockhill facility
Teva Pharmaceuticals plans to sell its West Rockhill facility to a New Jersey pharmaceutical company in a deal that company officials say will preserve jobs. The sale to G&W Laboratories includes all buildings, land and equipment at the site, where Teva makes more than 50 generic drugs. As part of the deal, G&W will purchase approximately 25 products from Teva’s portfolio, which it will make at the site and sell in the U.S. under the G&W label. G&W plans to offer employment to the Teva employees at the site. Teva, an Israeli drug company, announced two years ago it would close the West Rockhill facility by 2017 in an effort to streamline its business and reduce costs worldwide. At the time of the announcement, about 475 people were employed there. The deal is expected to close within the next two months.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 3/4/2015

Mobile home park proposed in Hilltown
Hilltown Township supervisors recently viewed a sketch plan for a mobile home park on the township portion of the former Souderton Area High School property. Proposed by School Lane Development, the sketch plan calls for 74 single-wide mobile homes on the 24 acres of land between County Line Road and Route 309, said Hilltown Township Manager Richard Schnaedter. A mobile home park would be a permitted use on the property, which is in the Planned Commercial zoning district, but no formal plans have been submitted to the township. “They just basically wanted to get the board’s comments and feelings before deciding to proceed,” Schnaedter said. The board discussed issues with lot size, parking and road widths in the plan.
Source: Souderton Independent; 3/2/2015