COAL TOWNSHIP — Former Northumberland County commissioner and business owner Vinny Clausi claims Shamokin Area School Board has been levying an illegal business privilege tax for almost 40 years.
At the beginning of Tuesday night’s board meeting, Clausi questioned directors about the tax that is passed each year in a resolution related to the school district’s budget.
Clausi said the school board imposed the tax to all business people in the school district in 1980. He said only 60 percent of business owners pay the tax.
He said some business owners never paid the tax and weren’t forced to do so.
Clausi said he believes he and other business owners who have paid the tax have been discriminated against by the district because he claims the tax is illegal.
Last year, Clausi said he paid a business privilege tax totaling $4,200 ($2,100 each to the school district and Coal Township) for a gas station and convenience store he owns along Route 61 known as Full Service 122.
Clausi said he won’t pay the tax this year unless forced to do so by a court order.
Director Charles Shuey pointed out that the school district levies the tax each year but isn’t responsible for collecting it. He told Clausi that if the tax was illegal, someone would have brought it to the board’s attention before now.
Board President Brian Persing instructed solicitor Tim Bowers to research the tax and report back to the board on his findings.
On an 8-1 vote, the board appointed Gerald Kramer as a chemical inventory safety specialist at an annual stipend of $2,500 to be dispensed in two installments of $1,250.
Voting to approve Kramer were Shuey, Persing, Robert Getchey, Erik Anderson, Melissa Hovenstine, Jeff Kashner, Steve Cook and Edward Griffiths. Laura Scandle opposed the appointment.
The board approved a contract with A-Turf to install a replacement turf at Kemp Memorial Stadium contingent upon receipt of an anonymous donation.
Jim Lichty was appointed as a volunteer junior high track and field coach.
The board unanimously approved an agreement with First Hospital and Genesis School to service district students at a cost of $110 per day, effective through Aug. 1.
Directors agreed to lease copiers from Doing Better Business at a cost of $2,081.27 per month for 60 months.
Hillyard was hired to refinish the high school and annex gym floors at costs of $4,170.67 and $2,928.42, respectively.
Dauphin DataCom was hired to make Ruckus Wireless upgrades to the network at a cost of $58,535.93, with 90 percent reimbursement through e-rate.
The board hired attorney Benjamin Pratt to serve as legal counsel for mediation involving the school district and the Office of Open Records regarding requests for information by local media.