First Posted: 10/18/2014
Council voted Oct. 15 to advertise an ordinance to eliminate the borough’s per capita tax.
The ordinance will be voted on at the November meeting. The elimination of the tax, which is $5 for every borough resident over the age of 18 — renters and homeowners — will be offset with a slight increase in the 2015 property millage from 1.28 to 1.31 mills.
A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of assessed property value.
Council stressed that the move is not a tax increase, but just a reallocation and simplification of the tax collection process. Collection of the per capita tax isn’t cost effective and is a nuisance to maintain, not only for the borough, but also the taxpayer, since the penalty for a late payment is about $45, said council president Robert Edgerton.
Berkheimer is the current collector of the borough’s delinquent per capita taxes.
Since it costs 70 cents to generate each per capita tax bill, not including postage, the borough receives only about 20 percent of the $5 tax, which equates to about $7,000 per year, Edgerton said.
Edgerton also pointed out that by eliminating the tax and increasing the millage by 300ths of a percent, the cost to taxpayers will remain about the same, and may even be less for many property owners. For a home valued at $200,000, for instance, there will be a difference of about $6, added Edgerton.
“If you have two people in the house, they will actually save $4,” he said.
Borough manager Tracey Carr said that, since the borough’s portion of the tax is assessed to every resident over the age of 18, keeping track of renters each time they move into or out of the borough adds to the nuisance factor.
“This is not a tax increase,” she stressed. “This is just a means to simplify things. It shifts it to the real estate tax bill.”
In other business, council:
• Voted to hire Edward Love III to the position of part-time borough road worker at a rate of $11 per hour.
• Announced that the Dallas Harvest Festival was once again voted the “Best Organized Event” in the Best of the Back Mountain Readers Contest conducted by The Dallas Post.
• Announced that the fall leaf collection program will begin the week of Nov. 3, weather permitting.
Council’s next work session will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17. The regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19.