Borough Council Extends Taxpayers’ Deadline

SCHWENKSVILLE PA – In what Borough Council President Darren Rash acknowledges was “a tough budget year to begin with,” the 2020 coronavirus is causing Schwenksville to rapidly lose revenue sources on which Borough Manager Anne Klepfer said the municipality had hoped to rely.

Real estate transfer taxes? Nope, she said; few properties selling. Earned income taxes? No again; COVID-19 is leaving people jobless. And permit or other fees?; they’re the least likely.

But during their Thursday night (April 9, 2020) meeting, council members said they considered the struggles of borough residents when they unanimously voted to extend – by one month – the deadline on which property owners must pay the full face amount of their taxes due. That means, Tax Collector Tom Laconis said, they now have until July 31 – not June 30 – to pay up.

Council did not change the April 30 deadline for those who reap a 2-percent discount by paying early. A majority of them, Laconis claimed, have already done so anyway.

The borough’s money woes aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon, and it still has bills to pay. So council members also approved Klepfer’s suggestion to apply to Univest Bank for a real estate tax anticipation note of up to $100,000. It’s a short-term loan the borough must repay by year’s end, with taxes it expects to collect.

Klepfer referred to the note as “just a safety net.” The borough isn’t obliged to draw down any amount unless it decides it needs to, she said. It will pay interest only on the amount actually borrowed, not on the maximum limit. The expense of establishing the account will be limited as well, to the bank’s set-up fees and the cost charged by borough Solicitor Wendy McKenna to handle necessary paperwork and notifications to the state.

In the meantime, Klepfer told the council, “we’ll hold off on any discretionary spending.” Rash echoed that sentiment. “We’ve really got to watch the bottom line,” he said.

Graphic from Google Images