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Borough to consider charging a higher occupational tax

October 20, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Anyone who works in the borough of Waynesboro pays $10 a year for the privilege of doing so through a tax, appropriately named the occupational privilege tax.

The Waynesboro Borough Council could drop that tax in favor of one called the emergency and municipal services tax, which would cost workers up to $52 a year instead of $10. The new tax, which was approved by the state's General Assembly, would take effect Jan. 1.

Under the current occupational privilege tax, the school board gets $5 and the borough $5. At that rate, according to Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger, the borough picks up about $20,000 a year.

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The new tax would bring in about $200,000 a year if it was set at $52, he said. The school board would still get $5.

The Borough Council considered adopting the new tax last fall. The council was in the middle of deliberations on its 2005 budget, which took effect Jan. 1, so members agreed to wait until they began working on the 2006 budget, Hamberger said.

The 2006 budget has to be adopted by Dec. 31.

Hamberger said restrictions on the emergency and municipal services tax limit what the money can be spent on to three areas - police, fire and emergency services; road construction and maintenance; and reducing property taxes.

So far, according to Hamberger, the council is not expecting to raise local property taxes next year.

It would be up to the council to decide how to spend the money if the new tax is adopted.

Councilman Stephen Monn said the council has discussed the new tax and has made no decision. He expects the council, if it adopts the new tax, to set the rate lower than the allowed $52.

The members also could opt to leave the $10-a-year occupational privilege tax in place.

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