Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Some Community Updates . . .

Some Community Matters updates . . .

1. Local Job Fair: State Representative Paul Drucker’s Job Fair yesterday in Phoenixville was an enormous success . . . over 400 job seekers attended! Rep. Drucker reported that people were lined up outside the convention center and down the street prior to opening of the event. Over 40 companies participated in the Job Fair including the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Social Security Administration, Cosi, Chesterbrook Academy, Wegmans, Northwestern Mutual, TD Bank, to name a few. Rep. Drucker told me that he knows of one employer who hired 5 people yesterday! Sounds like it was a good day for employers and prospective employees. Great job Paul!

2. Fire Company Funding: Supervisor Paul Olson called me yesterday to provide an update on the status of the ‘cardboard check’ to the fire companies — yes, he referred to it as a cardboard check. In December at a Board of Supervisors meeting, the supervisors unveiled a cardboard check in the amount of $23,200 which was to make up the fire company deficit that was removed in the 2010 township budget. Through supervisor fundraising efforts by Supervisors Lamina, Kampf and Olson, Olson explained that they had exceeded the dollar amount of the cardboard check. The total collected of approximately $25,000 was turned over to Rip Tilden of the Berwyn Fire Company for distribution to the fire companies. No information was provided as to the actual source of the contributions. However, one of the individual contributors told me that she received a thank-you from all 3 fire companies so presumably the money has been distributed.

3. TESD 2010-11 Budget: Malvern resident Ray Clarke took the advice of Community Matters readers. Based on posts and comments, Ray has a letter to the TESD School Board with the following list of questions. Here’s hoping that the School Board will consider these questions as they prepare for the important upcoming Finance meeting on April 19. Thanks Ray.

  • Can the school district impose a PIT on the residents?
  • Does Act 511 permit the District imposing PIT?
  • Would imposing PIT require voter referendum?
  • Would the imposition of PIT reduce property taxes?
  • Is a voter referendum required for EIT?
  • If there was an EIT, how would the split of revenue work between Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships?
  • Does an EIT reduce the property tax bill?
  • Would both townships be required to have an EIT in place to receive the revenue? Or, would the townships receive their portion of the school district’s EIT revenue?
  • Would there be a difference to the teacher unions in regards to an EIT or PIT?
  • Does the rate have to be the same for both townships?
  • What are the options for splitting the revenues between townships and school district, and does the split have to be the same in each township?
  • What is the exact nature of the reciprocity arrangements with neighboring jurisdictions, particularly Philadelphia
  • What will be the estimated financial impact to townships and school district, under various likely scenarios of rate and split, on the following dimensions:
    a) Incremental taxes paid by township residents
    b) Taxes currently paid by township residents to other municipalities that will stay in T/E
    c) Taxes paid by non-residents
    d) The total of the above

I’m glad to provide updates to ongoing community issues; let me know if you have anything new to report.

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  1. While these 15 or so questions are excellent, they are only the first of many, many questions about how to raise revenues to help resolve the District’s fiscal challenge – certainly, we’re not going to get very far at one Finance Committee meeting. My guess is that in order to give this issue the attention it deserves, it will require a group of residents spending six months or so studying the issue, asking questions, talking to “experts”, holding public hearings for community input, etc. There have been two such Tax Study Commissions in the past 10 years.

    BTW, in 2007, after the most recent Tax Study Commission, the PIT was defeated 88% to 12%. (if this doesn’t get John P. to post, nothing will).

  2. I think that Mike is right that the EIT/PIT issues will require more analysis than can be completed by the next Finance Committee meeting. I hope that there will, however, be a clear presentation of the basic facts, and an assurance that the analysis is being approached in a systematic and quantitative manner that covers the points above.

    The Committee has been consistent about the need to address the budget for not just the coming year, but also for the next three or more years. The expense strategies agreed so far lose half their impact after one year, and compensation costs continue to rise, so clearly further expense and revenue options have to be considered with enough lead time to be implementable.

    A good question: do we need a committee of residents to look at revenue options? Perhaps that might be a good way to foster the collaboration between townships and the school district that would be helpful on the sensitive EIT issue.

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