Countywide tax collection program yields extra $500K

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 8:59 p.m.

The new countywide collection program for the 1-percent earned-income tax will net Penn Township about $500,000 more than originally projected, finance director Linda Iams said.

Collections for 2012 through Berkheimer Tax Administrator now are estimated to reach $2.9 million, she said. With the implementation of a new state law last year, a county committee chose Berkheimer to collect the earned-income tax for all municipalities and school districts.

Manager Bruce Light said the higher collection means the township won't have to acquire a tax-anticipation loan to help its cash flow until property taxes begin to come in during the spring.

Centax fallout

In the fallout of Central Tax Bureau going out of business, a court-ordered receiver is updating the bureau's former website to alert taxpayers about checks from the agency that bounced.

Penn Township commissioners hired the township's treasurer and tax collector, Larry Wojcik, to take over collection of per-capita and occupational residency taxes because Centax closed down in September.

Recipients of a bounced check from Centax can see for information about how to receive payment.

Case resolved

An Altman Road homeowner who is accused of violating the property-maintenance code cleaned his yard of debris and signed a court order agreeing not to accumulate more, officials said.

Last month, Westmore-land County Judge Gary Caruso approved the arrangement between the township and Gerald A. Higgins.

Township solicitor Les Mlakar filed a May complaint against Higgins outlining the township's claims that Higgins had inoperable motor vehicles, an unsanitary swimming pool and other debris on his property at the intersection of Ridge road, near the Jeannette border.

Mlakar said Higgins was “very apologetic.” The county court maintains jurisdiction over the case if Higgins collects more debris in his yard, Mlakar said.

A listed number for his home was not in service last week.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or

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