Meeting Minutes Feb. 18, 2010

Centre County Tax Collection Committee Meeting
Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 18, 2010
7:00 p.m.

I. Call to Order
The Thursday, February 18, 2010 meeting of the Centre County Tax Collection Committee (CCTCC)
was called to order at 7:02 PM with Randy Brown, Chair, presiding. The meeting was held at the
Bellefonte High School Library.

II. Roll Call
Mr. Fountaine, the secretary, conducted the roll call and confirmed a quorum was present. Those in
attendance included the following Voting delegates and voting alternates: John Gribble, Ken Bean,
Ralph Stewart, Sharon Royer, Sherry Robinson, Norma Crater, Bob Long, Eric Endresen, Donna
Miller, Pat Leary, Susan Steele, Amy Smith, Amy Farkas, Tom Rodkey, Brian McCauley, George
Newman, Tammy Myers, Tom Strebel, Doug Erickson, Kim Wyatt, Warren Sasserman, Jefrey Wall,
Thomas Sharer, George Haynes, William MacMath, Roger Dunlap, Michael Groff, Randy Brown,
Thomas Fountaine, Rochelle Dubbs, Linda Fisher, Leah Burd, and Ronald Burd. The non-delegate
attendee was Martha Hartle, Bellefonte Borough.

III. Approval of Minutes
There were two corrections to the January 13, 2010 minutes. The first was on page two in the third
paragraph. Mr. Bean’s last name was missing. The second correction was that the time the meeting
adjourned was not included in the minutes. The meeting actually adjourned at 8:50 p.m. On a motion
by Mr. MacMath, seconded by Mr. Wall, the minutes from the meeting of January 13, 2010 were
approved unanimously.

IV. Executive Committee Report
The Executive Committee (Officers) met and communicated since the last meeting on January 13,
Items discussed and prepared for TCC business:
Future meeting dates and agenda planning
TCC Insurance
Topic(s) for future meeting discussions
   Presentations by Tax Bureau, Municipal Collector, and Third Party Collector
   RFP Committee Development
Tax Revenue, Taxpayer and Employer Data Request
Ethics Commission filings
DCED presentation – “Act 32, EIT Best Practices Report” February 23, 2010, 2 p.m.

Also received information about a Shared Services Grant from DCED.

The Executive Committee received a request to have CCTCC meetings recorded for viewing by
delegates unable to attend the TCC meetings. Mr. Brown asked the delegates if there was support to
have the meetings televised, after some discussion, there was no motion to approve televising the
CCTCC meetings and Mr. Brown announced that the meetings would not be televised.
Mrs. Crater thought that alternates served the purpose of the having continuity so there was no need
to televise. Mr. Wall asked about cost. The Executive Committee responded that there would be cost
but not sure how much. There was no other feedback so Mr. Brown declared that the issue was

V. Presentation
Representations of the York/Adams County Tax Bureau were present to discuss tax collection by the
York Adams Tax Bureau.

Mr. Gribble introduced Lois Kashner and Scott Dolmetsch who discussed the formation and operation
of the York Adams Tax Collection Bureau.

The following points were presented by Ms. Kashner:
• Where would the office be located
o Central location so that everyone can get to the office
o Rent vs. purchase
o Is there already an existing office that would capable of collecting for the county or expanded?
o How will the office be paid for plus what FFE is required
o Each member would be assessed for start up costs or a loan. Also DCED has up to $5000 in grants.
• Staffing:
o Who would the collector be?
* Management skills
* HR skills
* Accounting Skills?
o How many employees will be needed?
* How many tax payers
* How many employers
* What other taxes will be collected
• Budget
o Computer system must be able to report employer detail and communicate with other systems
• Success depends on cooperation, commitment and quality of staff and technology
• Directors have supported the Bureau and not micromanaged.
• How was the bureau started
o 1965ish when 511 was adopted and originally occupied space in a school district building.
o In 1975 purchased a building. Paid for with excess of income over expenses.
o York only distributed tax revenue 5 times a year. Bureau funded by the float between distributions. Members received 100% of tax, plus excess of income over expenses at the end of the year. (it sounds like this is no longer the case – interest no longer produces excess revenue)
o If building is sold, the proceeds are distributed proportionally to the taxing authorities.
o Collect for York and Adams County
* 105 members
* Quarterly board meetings
* One vote for each member
* 25% represented a quorum
* Beginning in 2012 they expect about 125 members
* Currently they do not collect for all districts.
o 12000 employers
* May go up by 400 or so
o 300,000 taxpayers
* May pick up about 50,000 more taxpayers
o Current tax revenue $110,000,000 and this is down from about $115 - $118
* Should go to about $140-150 million
o Maintain and office in both York and Adams county.
* Adams County only processes taxpayer returns.
* Employer returns and all other tax collection occurs in York Co. office.
o They collect mercantile, LST, EIT etc.
* They are segregating the collection budgets for this
o 12 audit staff to process 250,000 returns
o Second year for filing online
* 4000 – 5000 employers have filed on line
o First year for individual returns to be filed on line.
o Process that she described will change with Act 32. Does not think they will
reduce employees, but will reorganize and put more emphasis on delinquent

Mr. Endresen raised a question about where the software used by York is from and Ms. Kashner
answered that the original software was developed in house, but now Mr. Dolmetsch has started a
company that provides service to York County. She also reported that the online filing was a joint
project involving west shore and Cumberland County, and Lancaster County, Hanover, and West
Shore use the software.

Mr. Sasserman asked about how many buildings they own. Ms. Kashner responded that they rent
space in Gettysburg School District Office and own a building in York County. The buildings are
connected online via T1 line.

Mr. Sharer asked if Centre County needs to have a satellite office in each school district.
Ms. Kashner responded that this issue came up in Hanover, but the York Adams Bureau has not
experienced any problem as a result of only having one office. A Follow up question was asked if
people needed to come into the tax office. Ms. Kashner answered that tax lists are cross referenced
by tax type. She concedes that there may be some downside to lack of local knowledge, but York
does rely on the individual member municipalities to make sure taxpayer information is known. One
township emails monthly all the taxpayer changes. Others never send information.

Mr. MacMath commented that locally we have a lot of taxpayers who need help with their taxes. Does
York still provide this personal service? Ms. Kashner said yes, York still provides assistance with
individual returns. They have approximately 8 windows for individual consultations.

Mr. Wall inquired if individuals can file their taxes online. Ms. Kashner said yes both returns and
payments can be made online.

Mr. Endresen asked what York Adams’s website address is. Ms. Kashner said the web address is

Ms. Miller asked how often a distribution is made to non members. Ms. Kashner said distributions are
made monthly to taxpayers in their geographic region. They make a quarterly estimate distribution
and then reconcile with W-2 information once it is available. As a follow up, Ms. Kashner said she
distributes money that she knows belongs to another jurisdiction without a claim. In York they do
monthly estimates with the detail on a monthly basis.

Mrs. Crater inquired about satellite office in Adams County and that the Adams County employees
mainly work on employee returns. Ms. Kashner clarified that the Adams County employees only work
on Adams County returns. All mailings and other supplies come out of York, but returns from each
County go to the respective office. She also added that all employer cash is collected in the York

Mr. Dolmetsch, from the Business Information Group, said he provides IT services for York. He noted
that you need an IT service that has been tested in a county system, not just a municipal system. He
said the DCED has also issued a report with a list of vendors that are in the business and have the
capacity to provide county-wide service. Mr. Dolmetsch also provided information about his company.
He said they provide back office IT solutions for tax collection via a series of modules. He then
proceeded to demonstrate the software he sells.

Mr. Stewart asked if data can be integrated into his system. Mr. Dolmetsch said no, data cannot be
integrated, but they have created an import routine that will allow data to be imported.

Mr. Sharer asked how this information has been communicated to the public. Mr. Dolmetsch said
they did not want the public to be overwhelmed so it was not communicated to the public. After the
first year, they mass mailed employers and a training pamphlet was sent to employers. He said they
require employers to have a certain volume in order to file online.

Mr. Leary asked how they handle the Plain Section. Mr. Dolmetsch said they don’t have many
taxpayers in this class. Next, a long discussion ensued. Mr. Dolmetsch went over IT startup and
products that his company sells. In addition, he also went over the services that they contract out to a
third party.

Mr. Brown asked about non-residents. Ms. Kashner said the answer is they have a lot of them.
Mrs. Miller said she was concerned about getting money back quickly. She asked how quickly they
return money. Ms. Kashner said claims are prepared as they process returns. A claim goes in the
queue immediately when the return is filed and then it is paid no later than June. As a follow up, Mrs.
Miller asked how it is handled if there is no W-2 submitted. Ms. Kashner said they have to collect this
and document it.

Mr. Long inquired as to how do their system track follow-up letters? Mr. Dolmetsch said letters are
automated and mass mailed; however, each individual file is generally reviewed before letters go out.
Mr. Sharer asked Ms. Kashner if they are looking for new customers. Ms. Kashner said York is not
actively seeking new customers; however, it may be considered by her board.

Mr. Brown said he has the impression that the YATB members did not require member contributions.
He asked if this will change. Ms. Kashner responded that it has changed. The York Adams Bureau
can no longer operate on interest income so they are now collecting at 2%. She said she thought
they could collect for 1.75%, but the Bureau wants some fund balance. This will be set again in
response with Act 32.

Mr. Sasserman asked if they had to raise taxes in order to pay the bureau. Ms. Kashner explained
that taxes were not raised to collect the taxes, but the collection fees are set because they can no
longer fund the collection with interest income.

VI. Old Business
A. TCC Insurance – Mr. Brown reported that the officers except to receive a cost estimate
within the next week. A recommendation and cost estimate should be available at the
March 24th TCC meeting.

B. Tax Revenue, Taxpayer and Employer Data Request – Mr. Brown thanked all
organizations who have returned the data request document. If your organization has not
submitted the data request, please do so within the next week.

VII. Other Business
A. The State Ethics Commission sent a notice that the TCC is required to collect the
statement of financial interest forms from TCC delegates and alternates. For those already
completing such statement, a copy may be provided to the TCC. Forms are available
tonight or from Sharon Ergler at the State College Borough. Forms must be filed by April 1.

B. Educational opportunity – DCED will present a webinar titled “Act 32, EIT Best Practices
Report” on February 23, 2010 at 2 p.m. the State College Borough Municipal Building, 243
South Allen St., State College, PA. Session materials will be provided at the presentation.

C. The March 24th meeting of the CCTCC will include presentations by the State College
Borough and private collectors. The results of the data request and the creation of a RFP
Committee will also be on the agenda.

D. Mr. Brown opened the floor for questions. Mr. Long said he thought this was a good
presentation, and asked if the Executive Committee developed a plan to take the idea of a
bureau to the next level? Mr. Brown said the Executive Committee is waiting until all the
presentations and models were presented.

Mr. Brown thanked Mr. Gribble for arranging the York presentation.

Mr. Endresen said he was concerned about cost of collection. He has heard a range of cost from .5% to 5%.

Mr. Brown noted that if we are to create a bureau, it will begin to cost us all real money and
it is not likely that we can begin collecting until 2012 and throughout the process we will be
incurring costs without any income stream.

Mr. Erickson also asked that each of the collectors calculate their current cost of collection.
Ms. Farkas suggested that we put together a matrix at the end of this that summarizes the

Mr. Brown asked for members to think about how they would like to participate in things
like the RFP committee.

Mr. Sasserman asked how all the work of the CCTCC. He is concerned that there will be
ongoing costs and that the more that participate in the other taxes (non-EIT) like LST etc.

VIII. Public Comment
No public comment.

IX. Future Meeting Dates
The following dates have been selected based upon a survey completed since the last meeting.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010

On a motion by Mr. Erickson, seconded by Ms. Farkas, the meeting adjourned at 8:58 PM.