MILFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL WORKSHOP MEETING
ON JULY 16, 2019 AT 11:00 AM THE MILFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL HELD A PUBLIC WORKSHOP MEETING IN THE BOROUGH HALL. PRESIDENT FRANK TARQUINIO, COUNCIL MEMBERS ROB CIERVO, ANNETTE HAAR (11:05), ADRIANE WENDELL, KATRINA FOSTER (11:15), NANCY SCHOENLEBER, MAYOR SEAN STRUB, SOLICITOR ANTHON MAGNOTTA, TREASURER GREG MYER AND SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND WERE PRESENT.
*** THIS WORKSHOP WAS ADVERTISED AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
PRESIDENT TARQUINIO CALLED THE MEETING TO ORDER AT 11:00 AM, and opened with roll call and Pledge of Allegiance.
BY MOTION OF CIERVO/SCHOENLEBER, AGENDA WAS ADOPTED BY COUNCIL.
SPECIAL EVENT: KINDRED SPIRITS- 8/3/19- Music in Ann St Park – Gazebo- 45 minutes- BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO, SPECIAL EVENT APPROVED.
FISCAL SUPPORT LETTER – MUSIC IN THE PARK- BY MOTION OF WENDELL/TARQUINIO- COUNCIL ALREADY AGREED TO SUPPORT; WILL SIGN LETTER.
JIM HUNT – PRESENTATION REGARDING EIT: Before presentation, President Tarquinio made a statement- there is no proposal, nothing on the table to vote on. Looking at long-term financial options for the Borough. Have letters from residents, and there are other options to look at. This is just one option. Matamoras has just done it; unpopular, but if not done will have to make other decisions. Council is NOT voting on anything today. First step is to understand what it is. That’s why Council invited someone to explain it. Here at the Council’s invitation; should not be attacked. Not going to be discussed by Council after leaves. Currently, the Borough is financially sound, but living “tax to tax”. Long term, obliged to look at services, police dept., how to fund long term.
Jin Hunt – Director of Governmental Relations, Berkheimer Tax. Collector for Pike County Tax Collection District. Earned Income Tax is one of 9 permitted taxes under Act 511. 2701 Municipalities in Pa.; only 93 do NOT have an EIT at this time. Applied to wages, commission, payments for services rendered and net profits generated by residents of the Borough; Borough has the right to levy tax on non-residents working within the Borough who reside in a municipality which does not have an EIT. Funds collected are returned to where you live (if a non-resident working in the Borough resides in a municipality that DOES have an EIT). Currently there are 144 Borough residents who pd. EIT where they work. ($24,806) That would come back to the Borough. Hunt discussed various crediting provisions, (e.g., working in Philadelphia) discussed implications of working in New York and Delaware (Non-reciprocating income tax states). Provided Borough with estimate of what they could expect to collect based on residents, etc. Year one- between $80-90K; Year two- between $105-$120K. Explained reason for difference- first year only getting ¾; final quarter is paid in January of the following years. Not possible to estimate non-resident amount. Of the 144 Borough residents who are paying an EIT, 74 of them work in Westfall Twp. Under current State statute, if the school district were to implement an EIT, it would be in addition to a Borough EIT. Would require a referendum on the ballot.
– Question from Tarquinio- in terms of people who are retired, what is considered taxable? Hunt said definition of what is taxed is “payment for services rendered”; therefore, disability, social security, retirement benefits, etc. would NOT be taxed.
Question from Chris Jones (Dispatch) – what is limit you could put on Boro resident? Answer- 1%
Question from Meagen Kameen (public) – Residency? Answer- Under Act 3, it is where someone is “domiciled”. Go by school district code, employer’s filings, per capita tax rolls.
Q- How are they paid? A – Commission of 3%
Question from Joe Dooley (Resident) – Is commission adjustable? No- negotiated annually on a County wide basis among those municipalities within a County which participate. Just signed a 10 year contract.
Under Act 32, State established EIT tax collection “districts”. Each municipality within that district has a representative on that board. Q- Range of commission? 1.48% – 3% (Based on size of collections) Montgomery County – largest district, lowest commission.
Question from David Wineberg- 9 taxes? Answer: per capita ($10/person), occupational assessment tax, local service tax ($52 max if >$12K/yr), resident tax, flat rate occupational assessment tax, amusement tax, flat rate business privilege tax. (only listed 8)
Question from Meagen Kameen – is the tax against the individual? Yes; asked about NJ- reciprocating State.
Chuck ONeil- Resident- any date on how it affects real estate values? No data
Question from Jason Ohliger (Atty in Borough) – Asked about budget surplus? Tarquinio explained—no surplus, taxes collected in April; need to pay bills from January to March- not a “surplus”, just funds in the budget at the end of each year to be used until taxes are collected.
Tarquinio again said this is part of strategic planning, looking at options.
Question from Eugene Murphy (resident) – Any thought of changing services? Yes, that is a consideration.
Question from Jon Kameen- who invited Hunt? Council did.
Comment from Meagen Kameen about the budget planning for the Borough (she was involved for 3 years)- costs go up every year, insurance costs, employees receive raises, etc The Council has decreased some costs over the last 4 years; not in a “crisis”, just need to decide how to deal with small budgetary increases. They provide services that other municipalities do not, such as garbage, police.
Tarquinio explained some of the costs- e.g., we hired 5 new police officers; cost of training was $20K, and 4 of them left. They leave because once they are trained they can get more money elsewhere. Cost of new police car has increased; need to find ways to fund if they want to keep a police dept. Acknowledged how much Meagen Kameen helped Council with budget when she was on the Council.
Job of the Council to plan for the future.
Mayor Strub asked what other municipalities in Pike County have EIT? Lehman Twp., Westfall, Porter
Question from business owner (Jem Screen printing) – what about contractors who do not live or have an office in municipality? Answer- Only taxed if job is more than 90 days.
Question from Annette Haar (Council) – Do other states have? Answer – only Md, Ky, Ohio. Explained other states such as New Jersey- have state income tax; local residents get dollar for dollar offset.
Question from Mike Barth (public) – how does resident figure out liability? Answer- they provide reps who assist.
Tarquinio asked Secretary Ahlstrand to read the two letters from residents Caroline Kohles and Bernadette Schilling (attached to minutes).
Question – any up front costs? No.
AT THIS TIME (12:17 PM) THE COUNCIL WENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS LEGAL MATTERS AND PERSONNEL ISSUES.
BACK ON THE RECORD AT 12:47 PM
BY MOTION OF CIERVO/WENDELL, COUNCIL VOTED TO UPHOLD THE ARB DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION OF MIDLANTIC REALTY/VALERIE PANICUCCI
Skipping Budget Discussion for this meeting. Tarquinio said Council needs to start gathering information on capital expenses, etc. for next year. Ahlstrand
MATCHING FUNDS FOR GARBAGE TRUCK – SHARED WITH MATAMORAS. Had previously discussed that new truck would need to be purchased next year. Expenses shared jointly with Matamoras. Submitting LSA Grant application; need letter of cooperation from Milford Borough, and commitment of shared cost of up to $10,000 each. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/HAAR, COUNCIL VOTED TO SIGN LETTER OF COOPERATION FOR APPLICATION FOR LSA GRANT, AND GIVE COMMITMENT OF MATCHING FUNDS OF UP TO $10,000 TOWARDS THE PURCHASE OF THE NEW GARBAGE TRUCK IN 2020 (Capital Expense).
(Comment from Tarquinio – will need to update cost sharing agreement with Matamoras at the end of the year)
UPDATE ON SHED- ANN ST PARK – Councilperson Haar gave an update- staying with same size (10×20); no new concrete pad required. Had sample- design “Cape”, color will be- gray on body, black shutters, off white on door, shingles the same as on the gazebo. Question from Tarquinio- wood? Yes.
UPDATE FROM SOLICITOR – 200 THIRD ST (CORNER OF E HARFORD) – Property owner arrested (Federal charges) Property has not been maintained. Question about whether Borough should mow, etc. Solicitor s/w Jenny Roberts, US Attorney’s office- case is on appeal, so have not issued the forfeiture yet. Dr’s wife still owns the property, and property is up for sale. Defense Counsel indicated that there was a pending sale. Code Enforcement officer can send letter to property owner for enforcement. If not sold, appeal will be heard in early 2020. Then forfeiture would be in place, and they will maintain.
HOMETOWN HEROES – Mayor gave update: After last meeting, he met with Tammy and Gerry (Military moms) along with Frank and Luke. Had conversation with others in town as well. Came up with proposal (attached). Smaller than those on three-lane; Borough will use size which is proportionately consistent. Program would run for 3 years- Outdoors from Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day, Indoors (at Borough Hall or the Historical Society) through the winter season; will prepare a “walking tour” brochure with information; page added on the Borough website; Veteran’s reception before they are hung; Discussed funding- Borough will pay or raise funds for brackets, cost of fabrication for the honorees selected by Borough; cost of hanging and taking down each year; design of brochure; creation of page on website; veteran’s reception. Council will approve Grant application; will create a committee of six members (2 Council members, the Mayor, a representative from the Pike County Historical Society, and a representative from the Historic Preservation Trust) to oversee the program.
Comment from Tammy Savarese- Wants discussion about designated spots, number (split 7/7, not 8/6). Provided list of possible names; have funding for brackets. Only thing they are looking for is approval, have insurance, etc. Question from Wendell- does everyone on the list live in Milford Borough? Tammy – said no, Delaware Valley School District. Some additional discussion. Questions about number, size, to be decided by further discussion. Each will have 7 banners.
BY MOTION OF WENDELL/HAAR, COUNCIL APPROVED PROGRAM SUBJECT TO LOCATION BEING SET AND SIZE, TO GO AHEAD WITH CREATION OF COMMITTEE, AND TO APPLY FOR GRANT.
BY MOTION OF WENDELL/FOSTER, MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 1:12 PM