The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 21, 2010

Bookstore will triple tax revenue in Lewisburg

LEWISBURG — A tripling in the tax assessment on the new Bucknell University Barnes and Noble Bookstore means triple the revenue for local taxing bodies.

According to Union County tax records, the 29,500-square-foot building now holds a tax assessment value of $1.67 million, triple its previous assessment of $588,900 that dated to 2006.

Based on the new assessment, Bucknell University, which bought the property for $750,000 in 2008, will pay $43,800 annually in property taxes to the Lewisburg Area School District, the borough and Union County. The previous tax bill totaled $15,500.

The new breakdown of taxes goes like this: $23,559 to the school district, $12,155 to the borough and $7,186 to the county.

Bucknell previously paid $8,427 in taxes to the school district, $4,210 to the borough and $2,832 to the county.

Lewisburg school Superintendent Mark DiRocco said the district welcomes the extra cash.

"That's enough to pay for halftime aid or to purchase significant textbook materials," DiRocco said Friday. "Every dollar helps and is valued."

The university's existing bookstore is tax-exempt because it is on the campus. The new business, however, is in the borough's downtown commercial zone at 400 Market St. and is owned by for-profit company Barnes and Noble, making it a taxable property, Union County Chief Assessor George Zeyn said previously. He did not return telephone calls for this report.

The .23-acre property's market value assessment is $4.76 million, tax records show.

The new bookstore, which occupies the former C. Dreisbach's Sons Hardware Store on the northwest corner of Fourth and Market streets, will include a large inventory of books, magazines and sportswear, as well as a Starbucks cafe.


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