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Tax collector Oldham looks for second term

January 29, 2001

Tax collector Oldham looks for second term



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Delmos E. Oldham Sr., the Borough of Waynesboro's tax collector since 1997, wants the job for another four years, he said Monday.

Oldham said he enjoys meeting and talking to people, even if his job is separating them from their money.

"Most people who come into the office are friendly. They're nice and I like talking with them," he said.

Oldham, 55, took over as the borough's tax collector after unseating William Elden, the incumbent, in the GOP primary the previous May. He had no opponent in the November 1996 election. He won the Democratic vote on write-ins.

Oldham is responsible for collecting real estate taxes on 3,500 business and residential properties in the borough. Collections for the borough average $780,000 a year, including $650,000 in property taxes and another $130,000 in street light taxes.

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Franklin County gets $580,000 from borough property taxpayers, plus another $30,000 in library taxes, which Oldham also collects.

He earns 1 percent of the gross collected.

In addition, he earns $24,000 a year for collecting about $5 million in local earned income taxes. That tax costs residents of the Waynesboro Area School District 1 percent of their gross annual income. Employers deduct it from their employees' wages and send it in to Oldham's office at 20 E. Main St.

Half of the earned income taxes goes to the school district, which takes in the Boroughs of Waynesboro and Mont Alto, as well as Washington and Quincy townships.

The other half goes to the communities where the taxpayer lives, Oldham said.

Collecting earned income taxes has no connection to Oldham's elected position as tax collector for Waynesboro. He is appointed to the earned income job yearly by the Waynesboro Tax Bureau. Oldham said the earned income tax post historically goes to the borough tax collector.

He said he has cut the delinquent taxes down to about 9 percent of the total collected. "It's important to keep that number down." he said.

Oldham's office is open 40 hours a week and runs with himself, a full-time employee and two part-time workers who do the earned income taxes.

He pays the office rent, utilities and supplies out of his salary.

When Oldham took over, the office had five employees. He cut the number by computerizing the operation. "I will continue to use technology where appropriate," he said.

Oldham served on the Waynesboro Borough Council until his election as tax collector. He still attends council meetings occasionally, he said. "I want to keep an eye on how the money I collect from the taxpayers is being spent," he said.

He lives with his wife, Francine, in Waynesboro. The couple has a son and a grandchild.

So far, he is unopposed in his bid for re-election. The filing period for candidates is Feb. 13 through March 6.

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