June 16, 2018
Senate Local Government Committee
Senate of Pennsylvania
Re: Support of Senate Bill 1099
On behalf of the 4,500 elected officials who govern the commonwealth’s public school districts, we are writing to request your support of Senate Bill 1099, sponsored by Senator Scott Martin. We believe this legislation continues the success of Act 32, which simplified the administration and collection of earned income tax in Pennsylvania, by allowing school districts to appoint efficient, modern and technologically advanced tax collectors.
Background of a Successful and Efficient tax change: After implementing Act 32 in 2008 school districts received over $237 million in increased local earned income tax revenue annually because of efficiency. The inefficiency of the previous system was mostly due to the lack of uniform withholding, varying thoroughness of tax collectors’ records, training and resources, and red tape. After Act 32 tax collectors were hired that had incredible experience and the numbers below speak to what modernization of a tax system can produce. Simply collecting this tax in a more efficient and coherent manner has had benefits to tax payers and government entities:
The need for modernization: Allowing School Districts to utilize reliable and efficient tax collectors for EITC tax collection gave taxing districts economy of scale, professionals dedicated to efficiency, and the utilization of collection technology not previously available to most districts. This same concept should be applied and is being applied by some districts in Pennsylvania to collect their property tax. Senator Scott Martin’s Senate Bill 1099 cuts through the red tape that is halting some of these cost saving reforms and simply would allow districts to achieve efficiency by adopting a resolution appointing its tax collector.
Further, this legislation deals with the unfortunate circumstance when a school district and tax collector are unable to create a successful partnership, which has costed taxpayer and created undue burden when paperwork is sent out incorrectly.
As a membership-driven organization that is pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for public schools PSBA works to support reforms for the betterment of public education and to promote the achievements of public schools, students and local school boards. We want to thank you for your attention to these important issues and the dedication you have shown to the students of this great Commonwealth. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (717) 506-2450 x3337.
John M. Callahan,
Chief Advocacy Officer
Pennsylvania School Boards Association