Borough Council follows school board’s lead, votes to adjust tax collector rates

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Council voted to change the tax collector compensation at a special meeting held Thursday.

Prior to the vote by council, Punxsutawney Borough Tax Collector Susan Mitchell said in a statement:

"It's a bit disheartening to realize that my hard work and dedication to my job is not appreciated. I have never received an unfavorable report from any taxing district or auditor. My records have balanced to the penny the entire time I have been in office."

Mitchell also added that she can understand the borough wanting to save money, but she asked if anyone else is taking a cut.

"Is it fair to reduce one person's income dramatically?" she asked.

"Some people may think I make too much money, but all of my expenses, including my rent, phone, Internet, furniture, equipment, supplies and any office help, is paid out of my own pocket, I do not receive any benefits, such as health insurance or retirement. I must provide this
for myself."

Mitchell said part of what was so bothersome was that she wasn't given much information on council's options.

"When the school district was going to make changes to my compensation, it sent me a list of the options that they were considering," Mitchell said. "Since I don't know what Borough Council is thinking, I would like to reserve a chance to respond after I hear the options."

Mitchell also said there are services she has provided for the taxpayers, such as making free copies for them.

Larry Chenoga, council president, then called for an executive session.

Following the executive session, a motion was made by Eric Story and seconded by Jaime Sherry, both council members, to vote on Resolution No. 2013-6 to change the tax commission rates.

Chenoga stated what the new tax collector compensation rates would be prior to the vote.

The new rates are: $2 for each real estate tax bill mailed; $2 for each real estate tax bill collected; and $2 for each installment payment received.

Mitchell also will receive 2 percent of the Local Services Tax collected.
The resolution passed 7-0.

Earlier this month, the Punxsutawney Area School Board also voted to change the tax collectors' compensation.

The new school district commission rates are: Real Estate Tax, $2 for each bill mailed; $2 for each bill collected; and $2 per installment payment.

The Per Capita/Occupational Tax rates are $1.50 per bill mailed and
$1.50 for each bill collected.

Council adjourned following the vote, since no other business was to be addressed.