Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Indiana school board approves tax settlement

by on February 17, 2017 10:58 AM

A local tax collection agency’s quest to get an Indiana Area School District resident to file an income tax return for 1999 ended this week when the school board independently came to terms with the taxpayer.

The board on Monday approved an earned income tax appeal settlement with William Rolls in the amount of $500. The district waived all penalties, interest and fees connected with the claim.

Through his accountant, Joe Silveri, of Homer City, Rolls disputed a bill sent to him last year by Pennsylvania Municipal Services Company demanding that Rolls file a return and make payment for taxes due 17 years earlier.

Silveri said Rolls claimed that he filed a local earned income tax return and paid taxes due in 1999. But, following record-keeping standards usually associated with federal tax filing, Rolls had disposed of his paperwork after seven years.

The amount of tax, interest, penalties and fees sought by PAMS was $9,418.36, according to Silveri.

In other business, the school board:

• Debated then tabled a motion to have the administration to send information about the elementary school realignment and construction project by postal mail to all district residents.

As proposed, the mailing would include summaries of information provided Jan. 30 at the Outreach Committee meeting. The information is presented in question-and-answer form, representing District Superintendent Dale Kirsch’s responses to district residents’ questions about the estimated $32.3 million plan for renovation of East Pike Elementary School and replacement of Ben Franklin Elementary School.

The committee provided two handouts at the Jan. 30 meeting; both are available on the district website. One runs nine pages and includes responses to questions submitted to the district office before Jan. 24, the other includes answers to questions that came in from Jan. 24 until the day of the meeting.

The second Q-and-A list, now running 12 pages, has been updated to include answers to questions asked by district residents at the committee meeting.

On the meeting agenda, no estimate of the cost to mail paper copies throughout the district was give. The cost was proposed to be covered by money left over from the 2016-17 budget. The board tabled the motion to await further information on the mailing cost.

• Hired the Hawley Consulting Group, an actuarial service based in Allison Park, Allegheny County, to complete the district’s GASB 45 valuation report for the year ending June 30, 3017, at a cost of $3,000.

• Renewed a contract with Kotzan CPA & Associates PC, of Johnstown, as the district’s local auditors at a cost of $19,000 per year, the same as the last three years, for the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years.

• Approved an administration recommendation that the district no longer offer refunds of fees to students who successfully complete online summer school courses in the district’s IDEAL distance-learning program.

• Approved the participation of the district’s teachers and administrators in a professional exchange program this summer in India, in a program coordinated through Indiana University of Pennsylvania, at no cost to the district.

• Directed the Academic and Extracurricular and the Audit and Finance committees to study “pay to participate” proposals, which would assess fees for students to take part in after-school activities.

• Granted extensions of leave approved earlier for Megan Vallies to March 3 and for Holly Marusa to March 20.

NOTE:  This article edited at 11:40 a.m. to reflect that a motion to mail school project information was tabled.


Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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