Tioga County tax collectors seek higher pay

WELLSBORO — Local tax collectors went to the Tioga County commissioners on Tuesday to ask for more compensation —  more than double the current rate —  for their work.

Martha Rusk, Charleston Township tax collector, asked for an increase from $2.25 per paid tax notice prepared to $5 per notice. She would like a response from the commissioners before their meeting in December.

Jean Mitchell, Elk Township, noted Supreme Court decisions against efforts of school districts to lower compensation to put tax collectors out of business.

“We have the feeling we are being treated the same way,” Mitchell said.

Since the county changed the way it receives reimbursement, 14 municipal tax collectors have vacated their position, Mitchell said.

Those taxes now are collected by the county tax assessment office, which Mitchell said seems to be an ethics conflict because the office also assesses property values.

“Tioga County compensation should be reasonable by law. (School districts and other taxing bodies) shouldn’t have the power of reducing compensation as a means to reforming their tax collections systems,” Mitchell said.

She also noted the tax notices being handled by the county are not being received in a timely manner because some were mailed to the wrong address.

Penny Cruttendon, of Middlebury Township, said, in checking with neighboring counties, Potter County is being paid $5 per paid bill and $4 per unpaid.

“We are just asking to get fair pay for this,” she said.