Shamokin PA

Tax idea dies

COAL TOWNSHIP — In light of receiving generous donations from the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA), Coal Township commissioners repealed an amusement tax ordinance they have considered assessing for several years.

Voting to repeal the ordinance during a brief meeting Thursday night were Commissioners Craig Fetterman, Gene Welsh, Bernie Rumberger, George Zalar and Matt Schiccatano, who participated in his first regular meeting after winning election to the board in November. Schiccatano replaces Paul Leshinskie.

The commissioners reported at previous meetings that they planned to repeal the ordinance.

They had amended the effective date of the ordinance a couple times since first proposing it to see how the AOAA relationship with the township developed.

The proposed ordinance would have applied a 5-percent tax to income at the AOAA and and other potential tourism sites.

In 2015, the AOAA donated $6,500 to the township; in 2016, $10,000; and in 2017, $14,000 as the park’s pass sales continue to grow.

Asked to comment Thursday about the commissioners’ decision, Jim Backes, chairman of the AOAA board, said he is happy and looking forward to working with the commissioners in the future.

“We have a very good working relationship with all the township commissioners and township manager Rob Slaby,” Backes said. “We plan to continue to make generous contributions to the township every year. We both have a similar goal of promoting economic development in the township and throughout the county.”

In other business, township manager Rob Slaby, said a notice was received from the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority of its intent to apply for state Department of Community and Economic Development funding to perform a small separation of a storm and waste water line in the Ferndale section of the township.

Welsh announced Christmas tree pickup will continue until the end of January.