Catasauqua Press

Friday, August 18, 2017

N. Catty to cut tax collector fee

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by Linda Wojciechowski lwojciechowski@tnonline.com in Local News

Treasurer discovers borough paying more than average

At the Jan. 10 meeting of the North Catasauqua Borough Council, borough Treasurer Annette Englert reported she had discovered the borough has been paying far more in tax collection fees than area boroughs and townships of a similar size.

Currently, the tax collector is paid 2 percent of the real estate tax collected. For the borough’s population of 2,814 and 1,136 properties, this has amounted to a payment of about $11,226. Bath Borough, which has a similar number of properties and population, has paid its tax collector a flat rate of $4,300, she said. Allen Township, with a population of 2,630 and 1,001 properties, pays a flat rate of $5,500.

She circulated to board members a spreadsheet showing fees and rates paid to tax collectors by North Catasauqua and 12 other Lehigh Valley municipalities for their review.

“It looks as if we are paying significantly more than do municipalities in surrounding areas,” commented borough council President Peter Paone.

With more than twice the number of properties, the Borough of Catasauqua is paying one quarter of what we pay, he said.

Councilman Joe Keglovits suggested paying a 1-percent fee would fall in line with real municipalities of a similar size.

The rate would have to be voted into law by Feb. 15 in order to take effect as a pay rate for a tax collector elected this year.

Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian said he would draft the legislation for a vote at the Jan. 24 council meeting.

Goudsouzian also reported he drafted an ordinance to regulate new cellphone technology in the borough for council members to review.

New wireless technology will be replacing old-style cell towers, he said. More sites will be required at a closer proximity than the current towers.

“It’s an unregulated area where no one knows how it’s going to shake out,” he said. “A smart procedure is to draft an ordinance reflecting where you can and cannot put them.

“It would require an applicant to come before council, rather than the zoning hearing board, and ask for a special exception.”

Council will review his draft and a vote will be on the next meeting’s agenda, Jan. 24.

“The whole idea is to get ahead of the game,” he said. “It’s something that has to be done sooner or later.”