BUSINESS

Antrim still debating Local Services Tax

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

A few supervisors spoke openly about not adopting a $52 Local Services Tax (LST) for people who work in Antrim Township, but a final decision has been backed up until the 2014 budget is decided. James Byers told the board Sept. 24 he didn’t want to levy a new tax.

“The only reason we’re looking at this is to make up for what we lost,” he said, referring to the elimination of the $15 per capita tax. The supervisors voted in August to stop collecting the tax, of which $5 went to the school district. Antrim stood to lose $45,000 because of it.

Antrim administrator Brad Graham said James Clapper, executive director of the Franklin County Area Tax Bureau, asked that the township charge the maximum of $52, not a lesser amount, if it chose to adopt the tax. A different structure would make it difficult for employers to withhold the money, Clapper said, according to Graham.

Byers didn’t care about administration issues.

Pat Heraty suggested waiting until they had a look at numbers during budget discussions this fall.

John Alleman agreed, stating, “If we don’t need it, why collect it?”

Fred Young III said he and Graham had been meeting with personnel at the Rescue Hose Company, which would receive a certain percentage of the LST revenue. He wanted to talk with them again to find out their needs.

The board, including Rick Baer, unanimously agreed to give Boyer and Ritter CPA & Consultants a one-year extension for auditing services, as its five-year contract just expired. Graham recommended the agency use a new team of staff members for “a different set of eyes, to maintain transparency and accountability.”

Smith Elliott Kearns & Company, which had audited Antrim for 10 years, dropped the township as a client Nov. 26, 2008. The board then hired Boyer and Ritter.

Township secretary Jennifer Becknell announced that the billing department was still pursuing delinquent sewer bill payments from three businessess, which totaled over $7,700. The bills were being turned over to the landlords rather than the tenants, so they at least knew the status of the accounts, she said.

The board approved the single bid, from Alpha Space Control of Chambersburg, for line painting on township roads this fall. The bid was $38,140.

Graham said the dog park at Antrim Township Community Park would open Oct. 7. Benches had yet to be installed and the township needed to adopt an ordinance on its use, he stated.

He also noted that there were two vacancies for elected auditor positions, and only one person on the general election ballot. The two-year balance of a term needed a candidate.

The supervisors accepted, with regret, the resignation of Mike Still from the Park Committee. They thanked him for his years of service.

Township solicitor John Lisko informed the board that the Greens of Greencastle was appealing its tax assessment with Franklin County. The county said the property was valued at $2,750,000, while the Greens said it was $900,000.