Brookhaven Offers Amnesty On The Earned-income Tax

Posted: March 16, 1995

BROOKHAVEN — If you have failed to pay your earned-income tax to the borough in recent years, take note:

Fess up and pay up by June 30, and Brookhaven will waive any penalties and interest due.

"We want to encourage people to put themselves on the tax rolls," said Councilwoman Janice M. Sawicki after the Borough Council announced the amnesty plan Monday night.

The 1 percent earned-income tax, of which Brookhaven Borough gets 0.5 percent, was enacted by the Penn-Delco School District in 1991. The tax applies to those who live or work in the borough.

Sawicki, the council's finance chairwoman, said she could not estimate how much additional revenue the amnesty program would generate for the borough. This year's budget calls for $500,000 in earned-income revenue.

"We've had a number of inquiries" about the earned-income tax, Sawicki said. "There's been a lot of confusion."

Some people did not realize it applied to them, she said, and some employers were not deducting the tax, which is collected by the Central Tax Bureau.

Media Borough is offering a similar amnesty program for those who have failed to pay the borough's earned-income and business-privilege taxes. Media has had a 1 percent earned-income tax since 1974. The amnesty period extends back to 1987, said Nick Panarella, head of the Municipal Tax Bureau, which was hired by Media. The amnesty period in Media is from Feb. 15 to May 15.

The Brookhaven Borough Council plans to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to determine whether amnesty should also be granted to those who have failed to pay the mercantile tax. That tax is $1.50 per $1,000 worth of gross income.

In other action, the council appointed Stan Warfield to the planning

commission. The vacancy was created when Ken Falkenstein, who was commission chairman, resigned last month after the council failed to reappoint John Dougherty, a longtime planning commission member. Instead, the council voted last month, 4-2, to appoint Stephanie Donaway, wife of Councilman Vawn Donaway, to the commission. Vawn Donaway abstained from that vote.

In other business, Mayor Ralph A. Garzia recognized resident Gregory Leskovics, who aided police by providing information after he saw a man steal a purse from a vehicle.

The borough also authorized the purchase of material for six picnic tables for borough parks. The tables will be built by carpentry students at Folcroft Vo-Tech School.

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