GUEST ESSAY: Group alleges tax collection conflict of interest
#1 Aug 5, 2010
Boy you people put your nose into everything.
#2 Aug 5, 2010
PA is NOT a state! It is a COMMONWEALTH! Get it!?! When are the people going to take a stand?...... Probably never. Gripe and complain, maybe, but to actually take action vs their elected officials?.....never. Put up or shut up! As long as you are willing to take it.......they will give it.
Me?..... I'm moving in spring. F this place.
#3 Aug 5, 2010
Could you please take Lil John with ya?
#4 Aug 5, 2010
The entire process is a joke.
You would think that the county commissioners could assign the County Treasurer to put our bids for the EIT countywide collection. We already pay these people.
Instead, we have a committee of about 25 people who have met over a dozen times. All being paid for their time & travel. They have to appoint officers, make by laws, set up a bank account, and then you have what the authors state as an attempted railroad.
Talk about an example of wasteful spending.
Let the treasurer do all the work & then let the committee pick the one to do it.
#5 Aug 5, 2010
If they give this EIT collection job to Chambersburg Wage Tax Office, it is indeed a travesty. In all my time and dealings with tax returns, including IRS, most all states, and many, many localities in PA, CAWTO is by far the most INEPT, CLUELESS, BADGERING, INACCURATE agency, hands down.
They lose tax returns, don't understand tax law, badger taxpayers needlessly, and question everything. They are also super slow, so efficiency is definitely not there.
If they must consolidate as per this Act 32, there are many tax collectors that would be better suited for this, for example Berkheimers, JP Harris, Centax, or even Captax. I'm sure it would be cheaper, and overall better for our residents. These organizations are more professional, better suited to handle taxes, and don't badger taxpayers for needless reasons. Most of them also offer the option to electronically file, which is nice.
What the state really should do (are you listening Mr. Rock, Mr. Kauffman, Mr. Alloway, etc??) is go the route of Maryland, and include local taxes on the PA form. We already put our school district code on there, just add another entry for municipality, and they can calculate our local percentage. Either change the law to tax all PA income as local (preferred and fair as it eliminates all the investment and rental income that is excluded from local taxes), or simply subtract out those lines before calculating it. Let the localities and schools still determine their local percentages, but centrally collects it and distributes it. It eliminates discrepancies with the PA returns immediately also. Why they can't do this, I have no idea.
#6 Aug 5, 2010
At least the Franklin County committee went through the motion of putting out an RFP. The Cumberland County Committee didn't even do that, just picked who the small handful of weighted voters wanted. But, let's put the blame where it belongs, our wonderful state legislators who passed a very flawed Act 32 to begin with.
#7 Aug 5, 2010
I wonder what was behind this law. Did the larger collection agencies want to eliminate the competition from the smaller ones?
Or was the intentions to get a better rate on collection. Its our tax money, wouldn't it be nice if more of it made it to the schools, etc.
#8 Aug 5, 2010
who are the members of the Franklin County Tax Collection Committee?
#9 Aug 5, 2010
Carl Barton (CASD)
Shelly L. Boggs (FMSD)
Jason H. Cohen (Mercersburg)
Donald P. Culbertson (Fannett)
Larry S. Funk (TSD)
James C. Hollenshead (Hamilton)
Larry G. Horn (Letterkenny)
Charles David Jamison (Greene)(Chairman)
Glenn K. Manns (Chambersburg)
Donald N. McClure (Chambersburg)
Daneete D. Nolt (CASD)
Roger W. Price (Peters)
John W. Ressler (Warren)
Michael L. Rife (Montgomery)
Steven C. Rock (Guilford)
Timothy J. Sollenberger (St. Thomas)
Anna H. Swailes (Metal)
Joseph G. Tosten (CASD)
Joanne E. Zimmerman (Lurgan)
James Clapper, Board Secretary
** Reminder that tax collection is down 7.5% from the same period last year with an approx county unemployment rate of 9%, anyone with commonsense should be able to understand why the people are having a hard time paying their taxes. It also becoming a problem at the county level, more property owners are waiting later and will be paying the 10% tax penalty fee and it will be highly possible that there also be more property foreclosures.
Are you aware of some of the salaries being paid to the employees at the Chambersburg Area Wage Tax office?
For example, I understand that Mr. Clapper and his secretary have a combined salary of approx $116,000 a year with enormous medical benefits provided by we taxpayers.
These representatives listed above are the ones along with David Jamison Chairman that are authorizing this enormous tax burden on all of us.
Very few of the aforementioned people seem to have the courage or the desire to look out for those they represent in this time of turmoil and high unemployment.
#10 Aug 5, 2010
So what was this "breach of ethical behavior" and who committed it???????
We have a right to know!!!
#11 Aug 5, 2010
What a joke!!!! Curley and Mo writing about unethical behavior. These 2 morons are the kings of unethical, the end always justifies the means behavior. And by the way, if it is so terrible why hasn't your patsy-boy Barton said anything?? Could it be that he is a part of it all????
#12 Aug 5, 2010
First of all, nice letter, Mr. Barton. Everyone knows that Piper and Funk aren't capable of stringing even three coherent sentences together, much less several paragraphs.
Dave, none of the 25 people are getting paid for time or travel. Please check your facts before shooting your mouth off.
There was no attempted railroading. This is a group of sad, pathetic, attention-seeking people, who apparently have nothing better to do with their time. Maybe they should volunteer for a soup kitchen somewhere.
Mr. Clapper doesn't have a secretary. Salaries are certainly not huge, and reported benefits have been greatly inflated simply to promote someone's petty agenda. This is the same group of people who went after the school board for several years, and ended up proving and accomplishing nothing except to get their names in the paper once in awhile.
Mr. Barton is a retired federal employee who, while sucking his comfortable monthly annuity out of the rest of us, suggests that Wage Tax employees have their benefits cut. Double standard, anyone? Buehler? Buehler?
#13 Aug 5, 2010
at least one of them is getting paid for time and travel
#14 Aug 5, 2010
Some definitely got paid time & travel. Don't try your baloney with me.
I know for a fact that during the first meeting there was an attempt to just hand it over to the Chambersburg firm. If it wasn't for the Tuscarora rep speaking up, it might have happened.
This is serious stuff & could save the school districts tens of thousands of dollars.
The author of the LTE is on target.
#15 Aug 5, 2010
What government employee will travel 40 or 50 miles round trip with their own car a dozen times or so without getting at least expenses.
The school district representatives are salaried The meetings held during the day. Did they take a vacation day? Did they have nothing else to do?
People were getting paid.
#16 Aug 5, 2010
I have a real problem with this tax to start with! This tax penalizes good hard working people for working. How about lets enforce a tax on the welfare crowd for the right to sit at home on your butts while the rest of us slave away to make a living for our families. then the Federal Government can make sure that the taxes come out of thier welfare checks.
#17 Aug 5, 2010
Anon makes a good point that the method of collecting PA taxes is inefficient. You could save everyone in PA a nice chunk of change by consolidating the collection process.
I don't mind paying a fair share of taxes (but of course would like to pay as little as possible). However, I have a real problem with paying more just to collect my taxes.
#18 Aug 5, 2010
I agree with Jeff. I've have been saying for some time that any welfare check given out should require X amount of labor worked in community service or public works to earn this check. A lot of simmple unskilled tasks can even be done by handicap people . Not saying handicap should work for their check, just the lazy people who are not handicaped.
#19 Aug 5, 2010
LOL No thanks.
#20 Aug 5, 2010
In response to poster #12:
Yeah, right, typical spin, go after the whistleblower and try to discredit them. We need more people like those in Citizens for Responsible Government, someone who has a spine and backbone to go after these crooks who call themselves representatives of the people, when they are working only for their own agenda and pocketbooks, and do their creepy dirty work behind the scenes.
Clapper is a retired teacher who makes over
$70,000 a year, give me a break - unless you feel $70,000 is nothing.
BTW, CRG, by bringing to the public's attention, had 8 of the 10 unlimited use credit cards taken away from the CASD administrators. If there was no wrongdoing, they would have them today, not handwriting out vouchers the old-fashion way.
Piper and the CRG organization deserve a huge amount of credit for keeping an eye on people such as these and for your information they have saved the taxpayers a lot of money. Their main purpose is to keep politicans and others ACCOUNTABLE.
What are you doing to help your community by taking a stand on an issue? It's always easier to sit back and complain about things and do nothing about it.
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