WILKES-BARRE – Wilkes-Barre Area School District residents who own property in Wilkes-Barre Township – and only Wilkes-Barre Township – have an extra two weeks to pay their district property taxes and still qualify for a 2 percent discount.
To encourage prompt payment, the district offers a 2 percent discount if taxes are paid by a deadline set each year. This year the deadline in Wilkes-Barre Area is Sept. 13. For most residents, that hasn't changed.
But in Wilkes-Barre Township, the deadline has been pushed to Oct. 1.
The move was made because the company hired to collect the property taxes in the township – Don Wilkinson Agency – has gone out of business and Berkheimer Associates was hired to do the job.
The Wilkinson Agency had sent out bills and started collecting taxes in the township, but ran into problems and closed its doors.
At a special meeting last week, the School Board voted to turn the collection contract over to Berkheimer. Wilkinson had already arranged to transfer collection paperwork and duties to Berkheimer, so the board vote was largely procedural.
The board also voted to extend the discount deadline for township property owners. But the Sept. 13 deadline remains in effect for property owners in other municipalities within the district, because Berkheimer was already handling collection everywhere except Wilkes-Barre Township.
Berkheimer will be sending out new bills to township residents, along with a letter explaining the change, District Business Manager Leonard Przywara said.
The shift should not affect those who opted to pay their taxes in three installments, Przywara said, because the first installment was due last month. Berkheimer may ask those who have already made tax payments to provide a check number so the company can follow up and make sure the books are in order, he added.