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Error Discovered on East Greenville Tax Bill
Written by Brad Schlegel, Staff Writer

Updated March 14, 4:50 p.m. - See continuation at end


            Property owners in East Greenville Borough recently received an erroneous tax bill. According to council Member Marita Thomson, the issue is the amount taxpayers are charged for municipal taxes.

            Thomson said during the March 5 public meeting that the bill lists the rate as 6.25 mills, which is correct. In her case, she explained that the calculated amount due of $690 is incorrect. She said that the proper figure should be $638.

            Diane Criddle, the borough's elected tax collector, confirmed the mistake in a March 6 post on East Greenville's Facebook page.

            "The rate is correct, but the calculation is not," she wrote. I have a call, into [Montgomery County officials], for them to send me the correct tax file. Once I receive the file, I will mail out new tax bills. The new bills will be in a different color, so you can distinguish between the old bill and the new bill" according to the social media post.

            During the meeting, Thomson explained that the members received a message from Criddle that the file she received from the county was wrong. Thomson suggested that the new corrected bills should be issued as soon as possible with a note explaining the difficulty.

            "This absolutely should not have been missed," she said. "I'm very concerned that … it's going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money."

            State law prohibits the council from asking the tax collector from paying for the correction, according to Solicitor Michael Peters. In response to an audience question, Peters stated that the law required taxpayers to pay the wrong amount initially and then get the difference reimbursed later.

            "It's a mess," the solicitor said.

            In Criddle's Facebook post, she states that residents are responsible to forward their tax bills to their individual mortgage companies. Additionally, she "apologized for any inconvenience" this issue has caused.

            "I am diligently working, with the county, to resolve this issue promptly," Criddle wrote. 
            Criddle did not attend the March 5 meeting. Her husband Doug, a member of council, stated that his wife was at home "working on this, getting in touch with county and the people who printed these bills."

            According to Kaitlyn Foti, the press secretary for Montgomery County, the mistake does not fall within the responsibility of county officials because it was located in the borough section of the bill. She said Wednesday that no one in the county's tax assessment office has spoken to East Greenville's tax collector on this issue.

            Reached Monday by email, Diane Criddle referred all questions to Peters. The solicitor – an attorney with the Doylestown firm of Eastburn and Gray, PC – did not return an email and a phone call Monday seeking comment.


Updated 3/14 - 4:50 p.m.


            On Wednesday afternoon, East Greenvillle Mayor Keith Gerhart told the Town and Country newspaper in an email that Tax Collector Diane Criddle, Borough Manager Jim Fry and Borough Secretary Sharon Kachmar have "all been in constant contact with the county."

            Additionally, Gerhart said he also sent an email to the county commissioners regarding what took place, but has not yet heard back from them.

           The mistake has been corrected and the corrected tax bills have been sent out, according to the mayor.





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