New law reforms local tax collections

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new Pennsylvania law spells out how checks must be written to local tax collectors.

House Bill 16, signed Monday by Gov. Tom Wolf, prohibits checks to made in the tax collector’s name only. The new law says checks should be made payable to the name of the tax collector along with the office, title, or position; or be made out just to the office, title or position and then be deposited into a separate bank account only used for tax money.

Rep. Ryan Mackenzie’s (R-Lehigh/Berks) said he authored the bill to reduce fraud. He pointed to cases where a Pennsylvania tax collector stole $1.4 million and a tax collector in Spring Garden Township, in York County, stole $300,000 from tax payments.

“With little clarity in the law as to best practices, misuse of the system can occur,” Mackenzie said in a statement. “My legislation corrects those oversights to eliminate fraud by unscrupulous tax collectors.”

“By changing how accounts are set up and how checks are written, this new law will give municipalities and taxpayers an added layer of protection by ensuring their tax dollars go where they are intended,” he added.

The new law goes into effect Jan. 1.

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