Monday, August 27, 2007

School board candidate owes $10,000 in back taxes

Here's a news item that could be filed under "There Ought Be A Law."

An incumbent member of the Antietam School Board in Berks County is on the Tax Sale listing published by the Berks County Tax Claim Bureau.

Beverly W. Daniels, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 6, is $10,735 in arrears on her property tax payments, according to the tax bureau notice.

Voters in the Antietam School District will have to decide if they want somebody who doesn't pay their taxes on time to continue serving on the school board. Is it right to approve tax hikes when you don't pay your own taxes on time? You also have to wonder whether a person who has so much difficulty with her household fiscal planning should be deciding how the Antietam School District spends millions of dollars.

Daniels cross-filed in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in May. She lost the Republican nomination to a newcomer, but won one of the available Democratic nominations, placing her name on the November ballot.

This not the first time Beverly Daniels' name has appeared on a list for unpaid taxes. Based on the average residential tax payment in the Antietam School District, the $10,735 adds up to at least three or four years in back taxes.

Daniels and her husband, Sherwood E. Daniels, are the owners of record of the property at 2244 Perkiomen Avenue in Mount Penn, according to the tax bureau. The couple has until Sept. 26 to make arrangements to pay back taxes or the home could be sold to the highest bidder at a tax sale.

Beverly Daniels' tax troubles have not gone unnoticed by other school board candidates.

John Fielding, Jerry Palamara and Judy Swartz, running under the banner of Parents and Taxpayers United, have raised the issue of Daniels' late payments.

"Not only does Bev vote for every increase in the budget, which must be paid for by an increase in taxes, but she doesn't pay them herself," according to a Web posting by Fielding. "She has been egregiously behind in her taxes since at least the mid-1990's. So why should she mind tax increases? She doesn't pay them herself."

The Reading Eagle wrote about Beverly Daniels' habitual tardiness in paying her taxes a few of years back, but that has not dissuaded Daniels from seeking a new four-year term on the school board. Daniels could still be voted off the board if she finishes last in the race for five open seats.

I'm surprised state lawmakers haven't looked at the situation. Shouldn't a basic qualification of holding public office (especially on a taxing body like the school board) be timely payment of your taxes?

To read more about Beverly Daniels' time on the school board and her view on taxes, visit the Antietam Tax Watch Web site.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

No, there shouldn't be a law. We have enough laws already. A better thing to file it under would be "People should care" because obviously the constituency in that town doesn't care...and they should.