Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not all elected tax collectors earn a fixed salary - some get a percentage of the gross

On February 5th, Forks' Supervisors agreed to raise the salary of the next elected real estate tax collector (the term begins January 2010) by 10%.  Shortly after the Forks decision, Stockertown Borough began considering a pay cut for its to-be-elected real estate tax collector. 

Sounds like Forks Supervisors are going the wrong way doesn't it?  Think again.

Forks tax collector's earnings are comprised of a salary paid by Forks Township, one paid by the EASD (the Easton Area School District), and per piece rates for real estate transfer certificates and the like.  In 2008, the current Forks tax collector, June Vail, earned $15,000 from Forks for servicing 7000 Forks real estate tax collections - or approximately $2.15 per bill. (Source: Express Times letter to the editor by Joe Gold of Stockertown.)

According to the Express Times (Tony Nauroth, February 14th), Stockertown's current tax collector is paid 4% of the total taxes collected.  The Borough wants to cut it to .5% of the total - a move which would result in a savings to taxpayers of $11,000.  The current Stockertown collector, Connie Marakovits, sent 365 tax bills last year and earned just under $13,000 in 2008 - or $35.65 per bill.  She has held the elected position for 15 years.

As of yesterday, Stockertown's Mayor Sherman Metzgar, had yet to sign the resolution to cut the pay of the to-be-elected tax collector.  Per PA rules, it must be signed by today, February 15th or the next tax collector will continue to be paid 4% of the tax gross receipts for the next four years.

Makes one wonder, given the current economic crisis, how many Stockertown candidates will be on the ballot for the elected tax collector slot - whichever way the Mayor decides.

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