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Hickernell Tax Collector Update Signed Into Law
Rep. Hickernell and Dauphin County Treasurer Janice Creason review his legislation permitting county treasurers to collect local taxes when vacancies arise in a municipal tax collector's office. The measure was recently signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett.
HARRISBURG – Rep. Dave Hickernell’s (R-Lancaster/Dauphin) legislation allowing municipalities, with a vacancy in the office of tax collector, to delegate certain tax collection duties to the county treasurer was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Under previous Pennsylvania law, certain duties within a municipality, including but not limited to collection of taxes, can only be exercised by a person holding the office of tax collector.

The need for the measure Hickernell authored, House Bill 715, became apparent when some municipal officials found that vacancies in the office of tax collector created problems for the borough or township.

“Dauphin County Treasurer Janis Creason brought this problem to my attention about two years ago, and as a member of the House Local Government Committee, I drafted legislation and garnered the support of my colleagues to update the law,” Hickernell said. “This change now makes it clear that county treasurers are permitted to collect local taxes when vacancies arise in the office of tax collector, provided the governing municipal board votes to allow it.”

However, Hickernell noted, under the new law such a change would only be effective until the election or appointment of a new tax collector.

Prior to this change in law, treasurers could not step in to collect taxes when there was such a vacancy. Instead, municipal officials had to appoint someone to fill the tax collector position --often a municipal employee – and then that person could request the county treasurer to collect local taxes.

Creason commended Hickernell for working with her to resolve this problem and for his diligence in getting this legislation signed into law.

The change was backed by various state associations, including tax collectors, municipal officials and county treasurers.
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