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Franklin County trying to recoup about $100,000 from collection agency

Central Tax Bureau of Pennsylvania collected earned income taxes in Cumberland and Adams counties but did not return those funds to Franklin County

June 13, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Franklin County, Pa., government leaders are trying to recoup tax money from a collection agency that went out of business.

Central Tax Bureau of Pennsylvania, or Centax, did not collect taxes within Franklin County. However, it collected earned income taxes in neighboring Cumberland and Adams counties.

Some Franklin County residents who work in Adams or Cumberland counties likely had income taxes withheld by their employers. That money should have been returned to their home municipalities and school districts.

However, officials said that some money might have been misplaced as Centax entered receivership, the legal period in which a company’s assets are held before the company is dissolved or restructured.

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“We’re looking for about $100,000 that belongs in our Franklin County area,” said James Clapper, executive director of the Franklin County Area Tax Bureau.

Clapper believes the revenue might have incorrectly stayed in the neighboring counties.

“It just never got to us,” he said.

In November 2012, Allegheny County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine A. Ward entered an order appointing the law firm of Campbell & Levine LLC to handle an orderly wind-down of Centax’s business.

“Centax ceased all operations on Sept. 21, 2012, before the company could complete file and account transfers for this work to successor tax collectors,” according to a news release on the agency’s former website.

TribLIVE of Pittsburgh reported in May that nearly $6 million in payouts and destruction of thousands of tax documents were expected to occur within weeks.

Clapper said he received a disc that is supposed to contain information about Franklin County’s tax dollars.

The tax bureau’s attorney will review that, he said.

In most cases, a taxpayer’s municipality and school district evenly split revenue from the 1 percent earned income tax.

Chambersburg Area School District, however, has a 1.7 percent tax.

Each of Franklin County’s municipalities and school districts has representation in managing the tax bureau.

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