Friday, July 11, 2014

Municipality glut a taxing question

February 16. 2013 6:44PM
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W ELL, THERE you have it, another classic example of how "big government" botches everything it touches.

The state barged in with "Act 32," forcing every school district and municipality in the county to use the same earned income tax collector, and the company that was hired proved utterly inept. Municipalities found themselves waiting months for tax revenue they desperately needed just to keep cops on the beat and city hall doors open. Another reason these things should be left up to local officials. Bug off, bossy Harrisburg!

Well, except for the niggling fact that the company that bollixed the tax collection and disbursement – Centax/The Don Wilkinson Agency, was a variation on The Don Wilkinson Agency, a local company that had been collecting taxes for many area municipalities for decades.

Wilkinson had teamed with Centax, which boasts 11 offices statewide on its website, to win the contract to collect all municipal and school district earned income taxes. So maybe this isn't an indictment of big government, but of big business.

Once again, some soulless conglomerate comes in and swallows our little, locally-owned company, grinding it into mush. Hey, big business, leave our family-owned entrepreneurs alone!

Wait, what's that? Centax had to close its doors because of the problems it encountered? All those jobs lost because of … um … big government? Big business? So, they are both to blame?

Of course, there is the fact that the root problem seemed to difficulty keeping track of how much in taxes collected was supposed to go to each of the 91 – count ‘em – municipalities and school districts involved.

But surely no one would suggest that we might be better off with a little consolidation, a tad fewer fiefdoms in the county, some streamlining of overlapping services, elimination of new laws every few miles.

Because if you start talking like that, it sounds like the problem isn't too much government, but that it's too many governments.

And anyone could see the one is not the same as the other.


It sounds like the problem isn't too much government, but that it's too many governments.

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