Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Earned Inome Tax

Calling Applicants for T/E Citizen Earned Income Tax Study Group . . . Can its Membership be Apolitical?

We learned at the last T/E School Board meeting that the school board had decided to create a citizen Tax Study Group to study the Earned Income Tax (EIT). Postcards with details concerning the application process were mailed and I received mine today. The Tax Study Group is open to Tredyffrin and Easttown residents and the group is charged with researching the pros and cons of an EIT. The group will meeting up to eight times through September and October and then present their findings to the school board and to the community.

According to the post card, interested residents are asked to complete the Tax Study Group application online at by June 15, 2011. Community members chosen will be notified after June 21. Seeking to include a diverse group of residents, questions on the application range from level of applicant’s education; children in the district; to employment status (whether you work in the school district or not, retired, etc.). Applicants are also asked why they wish to be considered for the Tax Study Group and what specific expertise you would bring to the study group.

A discussion point presented at the school board meeting, but not mentioned on the application, is in regards insuring that members of the Tax Study Group selected are apolitical. To explain, school board member Kevin Mahoney suggested that the Tax Study Group needs to be apolitical; no political candidates or elected officials should not be included in the group. However, I note that there is no mention of that point on the postcard or on the application. I support Mahoney’s suggestion, and believe for the EIT process and discussion to be the most valuable it should exclude a political bias.

I have a few questions about the Tax Study Group that is not available on the school district website – How many residents will be on the Tax Study Group? Will members include a balance of Easttown and Tredyffrin residents? What is the exact selection process and criteria? At the school board meeting, it was announced that the study group would not include any school board members, but will they make the selection of the study group members? I want the selection process and the membership of the study group to be apolitical (as was suggested) how will the school board seek to achieve this goal?

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