Vinnie Biancone claims supervisor not required to pay Per Capita Tax
Listen how Mr. Biancone explains how a supervisor should not have to pay her Per Capita tax because she refused to accept her salary. Here, in this video a resident is providing information about the former Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors, who resigned earlier in 2019 with 2 years remaining on her term. Lisa Vanderlaan had served on the Board since 2015. Prior to her nomination and placement on the board, Ms. Vanderlaan has resided in the community for several years previous. Recently, it was discovered that Ms. Vanderlaan, in her capacity as Exeter Township supervisor, 2015 as Vice-chairperson and then after until her resignation, Exeter Township Chairperson of the Board had never paid the annual "Per Capita" tax assessed on all persons in the township over 18 years old. This was determined by examination of the tax records of Exeter Township. It is important to know that in 2015 Ms. Vanderlaan was appointed to the Berks County Tax Collection Committee (see the December 14, 2015 minutes). Here it is:Mr. N by Mrs. Starr, seconded by Mr. Bukowski to appoint Vanderlaan.
Appointment of Berks County Tax Collection Committee Delegate — Resolution 2015-27 Appointment of Berks County Tax Collection Committee Delegate — Resolution 2015-27
Mr. Bukowski stated Mr. Bingaman was our Tax Committee Delegate with Alison Leinbach serving as the alternate. He recommended the Board appoint Mrs. VanderLaan as the voting delegate.
MOTION by Mrs. Starr, seconded by Mr. Bukowski to appoint Lisa VanderLaan as the primary Berks County Tax Collection Committee voting Delegate effective immediately. Motion carried unanimously.
During the period from 2015 to 2019 Ms. Vanderlaan was in a position to add her name to the list of those who would get a "Per Capita" tax bill, however she never did. How does it work?
It begins each January when the Board of Assessments and Revisions of Taxes of Berks County sending a "Tax Duplicate List" to Exeter Township for the Board of Supervisors review. Based on this review the Board may add names and addresses to the list if they know or information is made available to them. As Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors Ms. Vanderlaan was in the unique position of knowing about this tax but failed to add her name and the name of those residing in the home with her.
This List is then forwarded to the elected tax collector for Exeter Township and a tax bill for the "Per Capita" tax is issued to each address. (he may also add name to the list)
When the board was informed of this situation Mr. Biancone attempted to excuse it away as you hear in the video. The solicitor said it will go to a third party for collection, and one of the supervisors agreed with the solicitors comment. However, there is one problem, since Ms. Vanderlaan never added her name to the tax list, no tax bill was ever issued to her household. Therefore, nothing exists to send to a third party for collection.
We have two sitting supervisors running for election, they were not elected but placed on the board to fill seats abandoned by previously elected supervisors. They are now running for election and we should watch and see if they act on collecting these back taxes and holding an elected official responsible for her tax obligation.
It is simple enough..what should be done?
FIrst, Per Capita Tax bills for 2019 should be issued to Ms. Vanderlaan and her significant other, then bills for the past 5 years 2014 through 2018. Allow Ms. Vanderlaan and her significant other to pay their obligations. If they fail to do so, now that they are on the list and bills have been issued, they may then be sent to the third party for collection.
The real issue here is that a public official with knowledge avoided paying taxes to the community that she took an oath to protect and do no harm. This is particularly significant because it causes the public to lose faith in our elected officials and our local government. The public will distrust our local government and form an opinion that our local government is corrupt. It sends a message to all of us that if you are a supervisor you can get special treatment.
Let's watch and see what the two supervisors running for election do with this, will they do the right thing or will they ignore it? Mr. Biancone and Mr. Anderton the ball is in your court can you follow the oath you sworn the day you became a supervisor?
I am concerned with the lack of concern, of understanding of the problem and complete lack of action on the part of all of the supervisors. This household is not the only one that has managed to evade the "Per Capita" tax. There are several flaws in identification of those who should be getting a bill. The $5 "Per Capita" will go away in 2020 for the township portion but the portion related to the Exeter School District will continue. The township can reenact this tax at anytime in the future.
See Below the actual law: