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Tax exchange program approved in Greencastle

August 27, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle-Antrim School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2004-05 Senior Citizen Tax Exchange Program, which has seen a steady increase in participation since it was started a dozen years ago.

Diane Haugh, business office secretary, reported on the success of the 2003-04 program.

Under the Greencastle-Antrim Tax Exchange Program, senior citizens do volunteer work for the school district and receive a credit against their tax bill at the rate of $6 per hour.

Seniors may either do the work themselves or send a substitute, Haugh said.

"A lot of moms come in (as substitutes) and work one-on-one with elementary kids," Haugh said. "Quite a few of the senior citizens claim a flower bed at (the district's) Tayamentasachta (Environmental Center), and keep it weeded."

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Haugh, who has coordinated the program since its inception 12 years ago, said it began with 13 participants, and this year had 157. The first year, $567 was given out, while this year $7,901 went toward tax bills.

"They appreciate the rebates," Haugh said, and the school district benefited from the 1,313 hours of time the seniors put in mowing, trimming, tending flower beds, and working in the business office, tax office and classrooms last year.

"There were 35 newcomers this year," Haugh said. "Some have put their time in already. I told them the program had not yet been approved, but they said, 'we don't care. We just want something to do.'"

The average rebate is $50.33, Haugh said.

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