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Carbondale News - Carbondale, PA
  • Board deadlocked on publishing names of delinquents

  • The Carbondale Area School District will not be publishing the names of delinquent taxpayers in a newspaper — at least for now.
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  • The Carbondale Area School District will not be publishing the names of delinquent taxpayers in a newspaper — at least for now.
    During a school board meeting last month, director Tracey Andrews made a motion to publish the names of district residents who haven't paid their taxes.
    However, her motion failed to pass when it ended in a 4-4 tie vote. Andrews was joined in supporting the motion by directors Joseph Caviston, Marcella Kaczmarcik and Joseph Totsky.
    Board president Gary Smedley and directors Thomas Cerra, Joseph Petak and John Jordan opposed the motion. Director Nancy Mark was not present.
    Andrews told the NEWS that the district is owed a combined $630,000 in tax revenues for 2012 from residents of Carbondale and Fell Twp.
    "And that's just from last year," she pointed out, noting that this amounts to more than 10 mills if collected by the district. A mill is $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.
    "It's to the point where something's got to be done, because people can't take any more [financially]," Andrews explained.
    She stated that the district's current financial crisis could ultimately lead to taxes being raised and costs to city residents going even higher. Yet if the district were able to collect what it's owed in delinquent taxes, she said "that would be more money than we would get from raising taxes."
    Andrews noted that Mayor Justin Taylor wants to publish the names of delinquents and he has informed district officials that the city is willing to share the cost of publication if Carbondale Area will sign on. She said the cost has been estimated at less than $900.
    David Cerra, the district's acting superintendent, said the matter may be revisited at a future meeting.
    "It was a non-agenda item that was brought up [at last month's regular meeting] and voted on at that time, and it could come up again if one of the board members chooses to raise it," he related. "That's the prerogative of the board."
    In another matter at the meeting, the board appointed Cerra to a three-year term as Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit director, through June 2016. The vote was 7-1, with Andrews opposing the motion because she said Cerra didn't bring back any of the minutes or pertinent information from NEIU meetings to the board.
    The board also:
    •granted permission to school resource officer Rebecca Clark to attend training at the Allentown Police Academy from July 29 to Aug. 2 at a cost of $495 plus travel and lodging.
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