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Proof That Folks Always Love A Deal

Paying it in advance saved money.

Paying it in advance saved money.

SANATOGA PA – Decades of retailing studies prove everyone loves a bargain. If something’s free, people will take it. If it’s buy one and get one free, they’ll give it extra consideration. If it’s on sale at a discount – be it groceries, shoes, cars or taxes – they’re attracted.


Sales work in tax collection too. Just ask Jennifer Marsteller, Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township’s tax collector.

The township annually offers a discount of 2 percent to property owners who pay their taxes well in advance of when they’re due. For example, on township and Montgomery County (PA) real estate tax bills that Marsteller mailed March 2 (2009; Monday), those who paid up before April 30 (2009; Thursday) paid less. A tax liability of $700, for example, could have been squared away last month at Marsteller’s office, 1954 E. High St., for just $686, a savings of $14.

Fourteen bucks buys two Italian hoagies (hold the onions, please) at The Hilltop Drive-In, 3000 E. High St. It buys a bag of groceries, depending on the size of the bag and what’s inside, at Sanatoga Thriftway, 2190 E. High St., or Redner’s Warehouse Market, 1300 N. Charlotte St. It’s the amount of a co-pay for an insured patient’s visit to their doctor’s office on Medical Drive.

In short, it’s nothing to sneeze at, particularly in this economy.

So Marsteller was wholly unsurprised when she collected more than $800,000 in advance tax payments before the April 30 deadline, she told the township Board of Commissioners during its meeting last week at the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. “It was busy,” though, she conceded, because 60 percent of that money was received during the last four days (April 27-30) of the tax “sale.”

Sale’s over now. Tax bills are officially due by June 30 (2009; Tuesday) for their face amount.

Don’t be late, by the way. Taxes paid after the due date incur a 10-percent penalty, which raises that $700 example bill to $770. No bargain at all.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ May 4 meeting):

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