The tax women cometh

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Barbara Bock and Sue Myers collect real estate taxes for the Borough of Greencastle and Antrim Township, respectively, and now have offices next door to each other.

Paying real estate taxes may not become more fun, but it could be more convenient, with the recent move of one local tax collector.

Sue Myers, Antrim Township tax collector, moved her office from South Carlisle Street to 39 Chambers Lane on July 1. She is now next door to Barbara Bock, Greencastle tax collector. Bock moved to the side street off North Carlisle Street in January 2010.

Her former location was west Franklin Street. And the offices in the tiny mini-mall are near Rep. Todd Rock's headquarters. He moved there in December 2012, having previously been located across the street from Myers.

Myers settled near the others for cost-conscious reasons.

"I have to cut my expenses," she said.

While she and former tax collectors Peggy Dixon and Janie Martin had liked having a downtown site as a convenience for the public, Myers said revenue was not keeping up with her expenses.

She and Bock had asked the Greencastle-Antrim School District for a raise, from $1.40 per bill, to $3, for their services collecting the real estate taxes on behalf of the district. Their positions had had only a five cent raise in 13 years. The school board approved payment of $2 per bill in February. Franklin County pays $3 per bill for the women's work collecting its taxes.

Myers and Bock lost income from collecting the per capita tax when both G-ASD and the Borough of Greencastle eliminated that fee for 2013. Antrim Township is still considering what to do on that issue.

With no way to generate more money on their own, Myers said she had to find another avenue to make her job financially worthwhile. The new rented space had better lease terms. And the idea of a suite catering to tax payers was appealing.

"Under the rent rebate program, if people need tax receipts, they can get help from any of us three and file their taxes," she said.

Bock agreed that the proximity could be good.

"It's going to be very convenient for people from Greencastle and Antrim Township," she stated. "Quite a few people own property in both areas."

Myers noted that parking was also free, with several spaces in front of the offices. She installed a lock box in her entryway, and Bock has a slot in the door for payments after hours.

The tax offices have slightly different hours, to avoid congestion during the busiest payment periods. Myers' office for Antrim customers is open Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m., and Thursday, 1:30 to 5 p.m. The phone number is 597-5995. Bock's office for Greencastle customers is open Tuesday  and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is 597-5310. Rock's office is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. The phone number is 597-2224.

The two collectors said the school real estate tax notices should be in the hands of property owners by Aug. 1, so that they have 60 days to make remittances at a discount. The full balance is due Dec. 31.