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User fee needed

July 30, 2013

As a burdened taxpayer, I feel that is due time for our mayor to levy a user fee on college students who live in this city tax-free, consuming city services which are paid for by property owners –......

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Jul-30-13 4:30 AM

How about Lycoming College just be required to pay property taxes on all their property instead.

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Jul-30-13 5:47 AM

Mr. Ebner - do you also think the same regarding welfare recipients? Don't they fit the same criteria as college students based on your complaint?

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Jul-30-13 5:56 AM

"Other cities do this, so why not Williamsport?" - Howard Ebner


Which cities?

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Jul-30-13 6:06 AM

Mr. Ebner,

Since I don't understand the details of all the taxes that are collected and all services they provide maybe you can explain to me why they aren't different from a non-student renter in the city.

Does the non-student renter enjoy police/fire protection, trash pick-up, water, sewer, road usage, parking, riding the buses to the mall, sending their children to school, playing at the parks, receiving the Medicare/Medicaid supplement, social security check, welfare check because of a lost job, food stamps, living in a rundown Victorian house in downtown, and the right to vote?

Please help me understand why they should be treated differently.

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Jul-30-13 6:08 AM

GysgtUSMC - So correct. There is no reason why the colleges should not pay a property tax based on the value of the property, just like business and individuals. But a user fee is an extremely stupid idea. I have said it before and I'll say it again, the hospital will not close and/or move and neither would the colleges. It's all a game.

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Jul-30-13 6:29 AM

AMEN!!! Enough with making hardworking tax payers pay everyone elses' way. Listen, I get that students aren't yet out there making major money in their new career but that shouldn't stop them from getting summer jobs and helping the city that is helping them.

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Jul-30-13 6:50 AM

Texas the non-student renter that you speak of live in properties which the owner pays property taxes. While the idea outlined in this letter may be foolish, I feel the college should NOT be exempt from property taxes.

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Jul-30-13 6:54 AM

NO property owners should be exempt. We can no longer afford allowing colleges, hospitals and religious buildings to enjoy exemptions.

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Jul-30-13 7:35 AM

"Other cities do this, so why not Williamsport?"

If other cities jumped off a bridge, would you? That's the dumbest reason for doing something that I've ever heard. Williamsport keeps trying what other cities have tried and it's not working out so well. Remember the Outlaws? How about the Pine Street walking mall? Can't remember the last time I shopped there, and the hits keep coming. This may sound like a good idea on the surface, but there are many things to consider besides the apparent revenue.

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Jul-30-13 8:20 AM

Enigma while I agree with you, better architectural planning would go a very long way in getting the most out of a small city. The parking problems, the job problems, the revenue problems, could all be solved by better architectural planning.

The problem is so many buildings are already built that, in order to fix the problems that exist within the city from an architectural standpoint, it'd cost billions to rip down buildings and rebuild them in a reasonable amount of time. Frankly, it's not worth it.

Having said that, they could plan properly in the future and still save themselves a lot of future complications.

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Jul-30-13 8:25 AM

"Other cities do this, so why not Williamsport?" - Howard Ebner


WHICH cities???

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Jul-30-13 8:36 AM

So Mr. Ebner want fee for service.

This is how this works. Those who want a fire department in their town to come and fight a fire on their prorperty will pay a yearly or monthly fee for that service. But here is the catch, if you do not pay that fee the fire department is not obligated to fight a fire on your property.

Yes there are towns that do this and it is usually small towns. There are reports of fire departments arriving to a fire and not fighting it because the property owners did not pay the required fee.

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Jul-30-13 9:46 AM

This is an interesting letter. Not sure how I feel about it. If you have a chance google "timeswv Fair deduction of user fee can boost credibility for Fairmont"

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Jul-30-13 7:27 PM

Penn College has its own police department that handles all calls on campus as well as many incidents off campus. The fine money generated by Penn College Police goes to the City of Williamsport no matter where the arrest takes place. I would bet that fine money alone outweighs the property taxes. And don't forget the $100,000 gift PCT gives the city each year along with 6000 students spending money in our city on off campus housing, food, clothes, entertainment, etc.

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