Tax Structure Shift Considered for Council Rock
Council Rock is considering eliminating the Per Capita and Occupation Assessment tax and replacing it with an alternative revenue source.
Council Rock is considering eliminating the Per Capita and Occupation Assessment taxes due to the high cost of collection and overhead.
The Council Rock School Board last week voted to have its solicitor look into the issue of eliminating those taxes and replacing them with an alternative revenue source.
Board Member Bill Foster, a member of the district’s Finance Committee, said the Per Capita and Occupation Assessment taxes are inefficient and complicated to collect.
The average Council Rock taxpayer receives three tax bills—Real Estate, Per Capita and Occupation Assessment—resulting in a $6.15 collector fee per residence. The tax collector receives $2.05 compensation per bill. Each municipality in the Council Rock School District has a different tax collector, who is elected by its residents.
Northampton's tax collector is Barbara Bucknum.
Between collection fees, printing and postage, the district pays $7.65 per residence just to collect the various taxes, Foster said.
According to Foster’s analysis of the issue, the $10 per capita only tax bills that are sent to more than 21,000 households come with an exceptionally high price tag to execute. In addition to the tax collector compensation for each bill, the district must pay the cost of printing, envelopes and postage. “That's incredible overhead,” Foster noted.
The Occupation Assessment tax, which is calculated based on the residents’ occupation, is confusing to collect, Foster said. There is a high incidence of delinquent and incorrect bills, fines, re-mailing of bills and phone calls, Foster explained.
According to data provided by Foster, last year, the district sent out 28,399 Real Estate tax bills and collected $130,990,994. Tax collector fees were $58,218.
From the 55,300 Per Capita and Occupation Assessment tax bills that were distributed, the district collected $4,603,481 and tax collector fees were $113,365.
Foster said if the district eliminated the Per Capita and Occupation Assessment taxes and slightly increased the Earned Income Tax, “we could reduce the total taxes being collected from the community every year for the same benefit to the district."