Punxsy Tax Collector Not Happy With Borough

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – The tax collector for Punxsutawney is not happy.

Susan Mitchell was at Tuesday evening’s borough council meeting to voice her concerns and frustrations with how she’s been treated.

She also spelled them out in a written statement that she read from and was also distributed to council members and media.

“My request is simple, I just want to be treated equally and fairly,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s dissatisfaction stems from three areas:

1. Reduced commissions
2. The ability to charge fees that other tax collectors charge
3. Office rent should not cost more per square foot than the Sewer Department office.

Mitchell said that when the borough reduced her commission she was told it was being done because all the other municipalities were doing the same thing.

“This is not true. I recently contacted all the tax collectors in the Punxsutawney Area School District, and they confirmed that they are all still getting paid by the same percentage they always have,” Mitchell said. “All are receiving five percent, some are receiving six or seven percent, and a couple are receiving 10 percent.”

“But, for some reason, two percent was too much for me,” Mitchell added.

Mitchell detailed the dozens of tasks she performs that don’t include collecting the taxes.

“Running the Punxsutawney Tax Office has always been a two-person job, but for the last four years, I have been trying to run it myself because I can no longer afford an employee.”

“Don’t let my posted business hours fool you. I have been known to work seven days a week at all hours of the day and night and even taking work home just trying to keep up with the work load. I can’t do it by myself anymore. Something needs to be done!”

Mitchell asserted that there has been a movement for years to get rid of the tax collectors, and it’s working.

“There are tax collectors in this county that have had to take over collecting of a neighboring borough or township because no one wants to do the job.”

“Well, guess what? If their tax collectors quit, people still have to pay their taxes, and municipalities are still going to have to pay someone to collect them.”

“How much would it cost in pay and benefits for someone capable of doing this job? I guarantee you it will cost more than the two percent you used to pay me.”

Council member Larry Chenoga disputed many of Mitchell’s statements.

Both went back and forth for a few minutes before council President Brian Smith suggested that it would be best to move the discussion to the Legal and Finance Committee where Mitchell and committee members can meet and sort things out.

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