I write to counter an opinion made by one of my fellow councilmen about the Selinsgrove per capita tax as reported in The Daily Item on Oct. 9. Selinsgrove does not need the small amount of money generated by this antiquated nuisance tax. After the tax collector takes his cut, the borough is left with $5,500 from this tax, which is only a fraction of one percent of the annual general fund budget. We do not need to make up this money someplace else.
I can find $5,500 of non-essential spending in five minutes with the budget and a red pen. A majority of borough council has voted to fund much more than this amount for luxury items every year. With responsible budgeting, and thanks to the generosity of the Gelnett Trust, we can easily do without that $5,500 for borough operations. As a municipality we are in very good financial shape, with assets in the bank that exceed the value of the newly-renovated building.
I am glad councilpersons Shane Hendricks, Dorothy Anderson, and Richard Mease joined me to vote against taxing our citizens unnecessarily. Elected officials should never take money away from citizens unless that money is needed for legally essential government functions.
Erik Viker, member of Selinsgrove Borough Council