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Meeting Minutes Dec. 12, 2009
Centre County Tax Collection Committee Meeting
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I. Call to Order
The Thursday, December 10, 2009 meeting of the Centre County Tax Collection Committee (CCTCC) was called to order at 7:00 PM with Randy Brown, Chair, presiding. The meeting was held at the Bellefonte High School Library.
II. Roll Call
Present were [Voting delegates and voting alternates: John Gribble, Ken Bean, Ralph Stewart, Sharon Royer, Sherry Robinson, Dennis Reese, Gale Marshall, Adam Brumbaugh, Bob Long, Mary Wilson, Mark Kunkle, Eric Endresen, Donna Miller, Daryl
Schafer, Amy Smith, Amy Farkas, Irv Hoy, Tom Rodkey, Brian McCauley, Ellie Trulick, George Newman, Tammy Myers, Doug Erickson, Kim Wyatt, Warren Sasserman, Jef Wall, Brian Griffith, Thomas Sharer, George Haynes, William MacMath, Roger Dunlap,
Thomas Fountaine, Randy Brown, Leah Burd, and Ronald Burd. The non-delegate attendees included: Jason Meeker, Linda Welker, Jennie Kitchener, and Linda Caswell.
Mr. Brown declared that a quorum of the Committee was present.
III. Approval of Minutes
On a motion by Mr. MacMath (Spring Twp), seconded by Mr. Wall (Penns Valley Area SD), the minutes from the meeting of October 28, 2009 were approved unanimously.
IV. Executive Committee Report:
Mr. Brown reported that the Executive Committee met on November 17, 2009. The following matters were discussed by the Executive Committee:
Future meeting dates and agenda planning
PASBO Webcast – EIT Tax Collector Selection, Appointment and Contract
Payment of TCC bills
Topic(s) for future meeting discussions
Tax Collection Selection and RFP Development
V. New Business
A. By Laws Committee Report
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) distributed the draft by-laws and reviewed the document with the Committee. The proposed by-laws are modeled after PASBO and DCED samples. The report was presented for discussion only. Important issues or deviations from the boilerplate by-laws are marked in red.
Page 1 lists all municipalities and School Districts.
Page 2 notes that municipalities will designate representatives in January
Page 3 identifies that a quorum consists of 2/3 of the weighted membership, not just those present.
Page 5 requires supermajority vote for key decisions. These issues are listed in Section 7. Supermajority in this section is for a supermajority of those present.
Article 2 – describes annual meeting, organization and officers and sets the fiscal year as a calendar year.
Budget adoption will be by weighted vote. The draft by-laws also establish a process for budget amendments.
By-law amendments requires 2/3 supermajority of those present.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) asked if any By Laws Committee member had any comments.
Mr. Sharer (Potter Twp) asked how the model by-laws documents defined quorum.
Mr. Schafer (Haines Twp) asked if there any questions about not having a weighted vote.
Mr. Burd (Walker Twp) asked about the difference between weighted and straight votes.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) noted that a straight vote would require equal shares of cost. He also explained that weighted votes are based on population and amount collected. He also noted that each municipality was also represented by school districts.
Mr. Sharer (Potter Twp) noted that Act 32 defines that costs are pro-rated.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) responded that cost collection can be changed by the Committee.
Ms. Trulick (Marion Twp) noted that the model by-laws define a quorum as a majority of delegates.
Mr. Schafer (Haines Twp) noted that Page 5 of the draft by-laws only describes a tax bureau.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) reported that the Committee thought it should wait until a decision is made by the full committee.
There was a follow up question about the bottom of page 5 that requires a supermajority to form a bureau, but is silent on what is
required to hire a third party or other municipal collector.
Mr. Kunkle (Ferguson Twp) suggested that paragraph “G” be removed from major decision to establish a Tax Collection Bureau.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) responded that it may depend on what the committee requires. Section 7 is intended to define what a major decision is, and Section 8 is intended to define a supermajority. Section 7 lists major decisions items, 8A defines how major decisions are approved, and 8B defines how other decisions will be made. Mr. Bean wrapped up noting that this will be on the January meeting to vote on.
B. Payment of TCC bills
Mr. Brown reported that at the October 28, 2009 meeting, the CCTCC approved among other things an interim budget, a banking service institution and financial services provider. The Executive Committee has since discussed the payment of the TCC bills.
The Executive Committee is willing to have their organizations pay their contributions to the CCTCC in order to fund the initial expenses.
The CCTCC delegates for the State College Area School District, Bellefonte AreaSchool District and the Borough of State College agree that said organizations will contribute their share of the interim budget as approved by the CCTCC on October 28,
2009 to fund expenses for the CCTCC until a point at which additional resources are needed from the additional organizations represented by the CCTCC. Reconciliation will be completed at a time when a revised budget is approved for operation of the
CCTCC and these initial contributions will be reconciled against any future cost sharing or revenue distributions, whichever the case may be.
Mr. Brown introduced a Resolution approving this arrangement. Mr. Stewart (Bellefonte Borough) moved the adoption of the Resolution with a second by Mr. Wall (Penns Valley Area SD). The Resolution was adopted unanimously.
VI. Other Business
A. Discussion Items
Mr. Brown reported on the following:
EIT Tax Collector Selection, Appointment and Contract – PASBO Webcast
The PASBO (Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials) offered a webcast titled EIT TAX COLLECTOR SELECTION, APPOINTMENT AND CONTRACT on November 19, 2009. TCC members who were available participated in the webcast at
the Ferguson Township Municipal Building. Handouts from the webcast are available tonight for those who were unable to attend. The handouts are also available on the CCTCC website. Access to a recording of the webcast will be obtained from the PASBO
organization. The membership will be notified when the recording is available.
Comments will be accepted on the webcast at this time.
During the PASBO Webcast, the subject of insurance for the TCC was discussed. The Executive Committee is investigating various insurance options. Several options have been identified from different organizations. The Executive Committee is accepting any
information which TCC members may discover from various vendors and providers.
Once an analysis has been completed, a recommendation will be presented to the TCC. In order to accommodate this unexpected expenditure, a revised budget may need to be approved by the TCC in addition to the insurance provider. Information regarding the program offered sponsored by PASBO is available on the CCTCC website under Documents – Other.
TCC Delegate Appointment – 2010
The Executive Committee has received several inquiries regarding the appointment of delegates and alternates by member organizations to the CCTCC. Upon further research of Act 32 of 2008 states that unless otherwise noted, delegates and their
alternates serve at the pleasure of member organizations. After a review of the resolutions or documentation provided by member organizations regarding delegate and alternate appointments, there are several organizations which may want to reappoint delegates for 2010. There are several examples of By Laws which supercede Act 32 by requiring annual appointment of delegates during their reorganization meetings. This is an item we may want to review carefully in our By Law document.
Tax Collection: Tax Bureau, Third Party, or In House Collector
Mr. Brown then presented information of various alternatives for the committee to consider in selecting a tax collector.
After presenting information on a Tax Collection Bureau model, there was discussion by those present.
Mr. MacMath (Spring Twp) asked if Tax Bureaus are soliciting new TCD work. Mr. Brown responded that he has not been approached but he has heard that they are soliciting other County TCD work.
Mr. Endresen (Ferguson Twp) asked if the Committee should distinguish between internal and external bureaus for discussion
After Mr. Brown presented information on Third Party collections, there was considerable discussion by the Committee and others in attendance.
Mr. Long (College Twp) raised a concern over combining of Centre County funds with other funds of third party collector. He also noted that it would be more difficult to resolve problems.
Mr. MacMath (Spring Twp) noted that some of the cons listed on the handout can be fixed through an RFP.
Mr. Long (College Twp) noted that third-party collectors may not be staffed for nonresident money.
Mr. Sasserman (Penn Twp) asked how big a bureau would be.
Mr. Gribble (Bald Eagle Area SD) reported that the York County Bureau collects for about 54 municipalities.
Mr. Sasserman (Penn Twp) asked how many tax collectors are there now in the County. Tax Collectors present described their staffing levels, but the data for the County was incomplete.
Mr. Griffith (Penns Valley Area SD) asked for a data sheet about how much we are collecting and how many people, etc.
Mr. Brown advised the Committee that this information would be provided.
Mr. Long (College Twp) expressed the opinion that the County Tax Collector should also collect the Local Services Tax. He also asked if the CCTCC can designate a different collector for delinquent taxes. The answer is yes.
Ms. Welker (State College Borough Tax Administrator) noted that Bureaus that she is familiar with are not Act 32 compliant.
Ms. Wyatt (Patton Twp) expressed a concern about financial reporting and audit capabilities for a large third party collection entity.
After Mr. Brown presented information on existing in-house collector, there was considerable discussion by the Committee and others present.
Mr. Endresen (Ferguson Twp) asked who in Centre County is large enough to provide this service. Several members noted that the State College Tax Office was large enough to collect the serve as County Collector.
Mr. Erickson (Patton Twp) noted that if the TCC contracts with Municipality it is no different than a third-party contact. The municipality would be required to comply with specifications. He also noted that he thinks that there is more control in a bureau and that start up costs can be recovered by a bureau.
Mr. Griffith (Penns Valley Area SD) commented a bureau might have the potential to collect taxes for other agencies.
Mr. Long (College Twp) noted that an Act 32 compliant tax collector will be required to comply with rigorous requirements.
Ms. Wyatt (Patton Twp) noted that she did not see the oversight by DCED as a significant issue.
Mr. Sharer (Potter Twp.) asked when decision must be made.
Mr. Brown responded that the decision must be made by September 2010. Mr. Brown also noted that the Committee will need more information on costs associated with the various models. He will make a formal request for this information.
There was considerable discussion of what is best for Centre County.
Ms. Wyatt (Patton Twp) noted that customer service was most important.
Mr. Long (College Twp) noted that there are two schools of thoughts on the ability of the CCTCC to require that the County Tax Collector also collect the Local Services Tax. He noted that PASBO has indicated that the TCC can make a decision on LST and DCED has indicated that this decision is up to the municipality.
Mr. Erickson (Patton Twp) asked if Tax rules and Regulations are fairly uniform throughout the County.
Mr. Bean (Bellefonte Area SD) noted that regulations tend to be uniform within school districts and they are generally consistent throughout the County.
Mr. Long (College Twp) noted that DCED will issue regulations that will have statewide application.
Mr. Brown reported that in coming meetings, the Committee will receive presentations on all three options.
Mr. Griffith (Penns Valley Area SD) questioned whether or not the Committee’s goals are common. He suggested that the Committee identify its goals before moving to the next step.
Committee members offered the following goals:
a. Local presence
b. Office in each School District
c. Office in Centre County
d. Electronic Filing
e. Goals for Centre County as presented by Randy
f. Maximizing revenue takes a lot of work and the collector must pursue nonfilers
g. Make sure the collector has the capability to collect, administer and report in compliance with Act 32
h. Retain Local jobs and local operations
i. Reasonable cash flow to municipalities and school districts
j. It was noted by several people that existing bureaus and collection agencies will have to change practices to comply
k. No combining of funds with other TCD’s
l. Look at PLIGIT to ensure that funds are available
m. Capacity to use existing data for transition is important
n. Cooperate in a partnership so that this doesn’t fail so that the State doesn’t take this over
Mr. Sasserman (Penn Twp) asked why the Committee couldn’t have all three presentations at one meeting.
Ms. Wyatt (Patton Twp) noted that the Bureau model presentation would require the detail and time since the Committee doesn’t understand it as well as it understands the other models.
Mr. Brown also reported that Ferguson Township hosted an Act 32 webcast and many attended. Randy distributed the handouts from the webcast and announced that the webcast is also available on the CCTCC website. He has also ordered the recording
and he will make it available.
Mr. Brown also reported that during the webcast, the need for insurance was raised.
The Executive Committee is exploring insurance quotes. Mr. Brown noted that municipal insurance will not cover this body.
Mr. Brown also addressed delegate appointments and cited from Act 32 that the delegates are appointed to serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. If original appointments were made for a specific term, the delegate will need to be reappointed.
Those delegates that appointed to serve an indefinite term, no further action is required.
VII. Public Comment
There was no public comment.
VIII. Future Meeting Dates
Mr. Brown reported that the following dates have been selected based upon a survey completed since the last meeting:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
On a motion by Mr. Sharer (Potter Twp.), seconded by Mr. Wall (Penns Valley Area SD), the meeting was adjourned 8:29 PM.