Antrim drops per capita tax

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Antrim Township finally made a decision on what to do about the per capita tax. The Greencastle-Antrim School District and Borough of Greencastle had already eliminated the head tax. Revenue from the $15 fee per adult resident was split, with $10 of each bill going to the school. The school board voted to end the taxation in February, losing $134,000 per year, believing the 28 percent cost of collection was too high. The borough made the same call last December, losing $12,000.

Antrim administrator Brad Graham brought the issue to the full board of supervisors Aug. 13. He asked James Byers, John Alleman, Pat Heraty, Fred Young III and Rick Baer whether they wanted to keep the tax, or replace the revenue from another source. Antrim had budgeted $45,000 as income for 2013. From his conversations with G-ASD business manager Jolinda Wilson, he said, "The best option may be to enact a local services tax."

That tax was capped at $52 per person who worked in Antrim Township. Greencastle adopted the tax last November. Five dollars from the LST went to G-ASD and the rest was designed to support emergency services.

None of the supervisors supported retaining the per capita tax. They were not keen on raising taxes either.

Graham said other possibilities were to adopt a road tax of two mills, to be used for equipment; a street tax of five mills; or a street light tax of two mills. They would be attached to real estate.

On a unanimous vote, the board chose to drop the per capita tax and continue discussions on how to make up the lost funding.

In other business, the board accepted the final land development plan of Mountain View Reclamation. Senior district manager John Wardzinski was present to explain the project.

"We're going from three temporary leachate tanks to two permanent tanks."

Though the tanks were in Montgomery Township, the discharge would enter the Antrim sewer system, so board permission was needed. The plan was accepted 4-0, with Heraty recusing himself as an employee of Waste Management, which owned the landfill.

The supervisors also adopted an ordinance setting weight limits on Rabbit Road North at 10 tons. There had not been a previous weight limit, but a quarry used by David H. Martin Excavating had a new entrance on Rabbit Road north of Route 16 instead of Willowdale Road, and the board wanted protection in place if the heavy vehicles caused damage. The ordinance, effective immediately, exempted emergency vehicles, school buses, public utility vehicles and agricultural vehicles. Anyone exceeding the weight limit was required to obtain a permit and financial security. The amount would be determined by the township engineer. If the road was damaged, the owner of the vehicles responsible would have to pay for repairs, or the bond would be used.

The weight limit on Rabbit Road South was previously established at 15 tons.