Relief comes for Dingman businesses Supervisors say businesses help pay for all township services, keep expenses down

Pike County Courrier , Published Mar 8, 2013 at 11:10 am By Jerry Goldberg
DINGMAN — Dingman Township is on board for real estate tax relief incentives for new or expanding business. At the March 5 township supervisors meeting, Executive Director Michael Sullivan of the Pike County Development Authority (PCEDA), along with Vice-Chairman Marcia Guberman, presented an outline of the Pike County Tax Abatement Program for Dingman Township. Township Supervisor Tom Mincer told Sullivan they were very interested to learn about the program, and were in favor of it too. The five-year abatement program was developed to assist industries and businesses locate or expand in Pike County. The abatement incentive would apply only to real property improvements and not to their existing tax rate. In Dingman Township there are only two areas that would be subject to the tax incentive abatement.

The following incentive reductions would apply on improvements and new commercial developments only:

Year 1 — 90 percent reduction collection

Year 2 — 80 percent reduction collection

Year 3 — 60 percent reduction collection

Year 4 — 40 percent reduction collection

Year 5 — 20 percent reduction collection

Year 6 — zero percent reduction collection, which will be full assessment

The reduction would apply to real estate taxes, which comprise the town tax and the school tax. The school tax amounts to 60 percent to 70 percent of the total tax bill. Sullivan has already met with the Delaware Valley School Board twice and believes a majority of the board might be in favor of the program. “I am meeting with the school board again and ask them to be in favor of the program because there would not be much of an abatement reduction incentive without their approval,” he said. “The school tax is the biggest part of taxes collected and we need incentives to attract new business and to offer current business a reason to expand,” said Mincer. “If the school board is for this it will make it easier to put into place a new ordinance for this purpose. It would be good to set up a meeting with school board, the county, and the township.” Sullivan said he’d like to get the process started but is running into some reluctance. Everyone involved wants others to be the first to sign on to the incentive program, he said. Sullivan quoted a study made by the American Farmland Trust on community services: for every dollar in real estate taxes collected by a municipality, it costs $1.19 for services to residential tax payers but only 28 cents for commercial tax payers. Mincer made it clear by attracting new businesses and having others expand their existing businesses would increase the overall tax rate, add no additional children to the school roster, and create an increase in local area jobs. Sullivan asked the supervisors if it meant he could go to the school board and say Dingman Township is in favor of the Tax Abatement Program. Mincer told him they are on board for the 2013 Tax Abatement Program.

For every dollar in real estate taxes collected by a municipality, it costs $1.19 for services to residential tax payers but only 28 cents for commercial taxpayers.