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Schuylkill tax committee moves to replace collection firm

Published June 27. 2012 05:02PM

An urgent meeting was called by the Schuylkill Tax Collection Committee to deal with a problem it was having with the firm hired to collect the Occupation Privilege and Earned Income taxes for the 62 municipalities and 13 school districts in the county.

At the meeting held Tuesday evening at the courthouse in Pottsville to discuss the problem it was having with the Centax Group which was hired to make the collections from employers and distribute them to the municipalities and school districts, the committee decided to replace the firm. Returns have not been made for the past two quarters and concerns were growing.

The committee took quick action to begin procedures to replace Centax.

A resolution was adopted to appoint H.A. Berkheiser Company, of Bangor, as the provisional replacement and another motion was adopted to terminate the contract with Centax Group because of a breach of contract.

When the committee hired Centax Group on bids, Berkheiser came in second. A contract is now being prepared to have Berkheiser become the collector for the county which will be presented to the committee at their meeting on July 10 for approval.

Representatives from Berkheinmer were present and they presented to the committee the services they will provide and that they will begin action immediately to obtain from Centax Group all the funds they have for distribution in the county. Berkheimer said it also stands to offer tax collection sevices for other taxes, such as per capita, real estate, business privilege and others.

The state legislature, under Act 32 created the law to have one collector for the municipalities and school districts in each county. Previosly the elected bodies did their own collections or hired firms to collect for them. Under one collector each taxing body pays a fee to the committee to carry out the collections. Each municipality and school district has a representative on the committee.

Present at the meeting were two county commissioners, George Halcovage and Gary Hess, who were interested observers and did not participate in the discussions which took place.

All the municipalities were happy with the one collector as they pointed out by doing their own collections they had their hands on the situation. If the deal with Berkheimer does not work out the county could step in as a collector.

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