The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 5, 2013

Snyder County will not repeal per capita tax

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — The Snyder County Board of Commissioners have no plans to follow Selinsgrove and Penn Township’s lead in eliminating the per capita tax.

The county collected $122,896 last year by imposing the $5 tax on every adult resident and would be hard-pressed to make it up without raising taxes, Commissioner Malcolm Derk said

On Monday, the Selinsgrove Borough Council voted 4-3 to eliminate per capita taxes in 2014 because of the cost and burden of collecting about $5,500 a year from about 80 percent of borough residents.

The tax could be reinstated later by another council if there is enough support for it.

Derk and Joe Kantz favor the tax that includes all residents, not just property owners.

“This is the only taxation for renters and they should have some skin in this,” said Derk.

Referring to renters, Kantz said they should be required to pitch in since they “might be more of a burden on social services than anyone.”

Commissioner Peggy Chamberlain Roup agrees with opponents that the per capita tax is a nuisance due to the cost to collect, but noted that several municipalities rely on the revenue it brings in.

“Who am I to shut it down?” she said.

Since the county is required to spend resources collecting and providing resident information to municipalities who impose the per capita tax, Derk said, it might as well use the information to collect the tax as well.

Besides, Kantz said, “Lots of things are nuisances.”