School board disagrees on tax collection agency

PAT FRIDGEN

Split votes accompanied action on hiring a firm to collect earned income tax for the Greencastle-Antrim School District until the Franklin County Tax Collection Committee selects a countywide agency. Business manager Richard Lipella recommended the school board hire the Chambersburg Area Wage Tax Bureau at the May 6 meeting. The need was urgent because Greencastle's tax officer Karen Hermann was retiring in June.

Based on EIT meetings he had attended, and the weighted vote system which put smaller school districts at a disadvantage, Lipella believed the Chambersburg governmental bodies would hire CAWTB despite any results of the request for proposal now in play. He had negotiated a commission rate a half percent lower than the organization charged other schools.

Board president Arnie Jansen preferred to wait until the RFP responses were in. He also asked that other companies be phoned for quotes for the interim. Lipella countered that no one would take the job for such a short period and after the RFP numbers were in CAWTB would just trim its fee if necessary and still be awarded the task for the county.

A motion to put Lipella's request on the agenda passed 6-3 with Paul Politis, Joel Fridgen, Mike Shindle, Howard Ritchey, Bill Thorne and Eric Holtzman in favor; Kristy Faulkner, Brian Hissong and Jansen opposed.

Two resolutions squeaked passage. Hiring CAWTB for six months, with the EIT and local services tax fees revisited in 2011, and hiring CAWTB to collect delinquent taxes, with the expense passed on to the taxpayer, passed 5-4. The vote was the same for both, with Politis, Fridgen, Ritchey, Shindle and Thorne in favor; Jansen, Faulkner, Hissong and  Holtzman opposed.

The Chambersburg bureau will charge three percent for EIT revenue and five percent for LST.

In other business, the board retained school lunch prices, leaving them at elementary lunch $1.70, secondary lunch $2, adult lunch $3.25, milk 35 cents.

Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover announced that Kathy Olivier had been appointed executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation.