FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Information Regarding 2018/19 Real Estate Tax Payments
Manheim Township School District
Why do I have to pay my 2018/19 Real Estate taxes differently than in previous years?
Under the Local Tax Collection Law, elected tax collectors are permitted to collect township and school district taxes; however, they may also allow the taxing entity (school district) to collect their own taxes. For over 30 years, the Manheim Township School District has used existing staff and an automated, effective, secure, and inexpensive deposit method through a local bank to collect taxes. In November 2017, the currently elected tax collector, Mrs. Patricia Kabel, sued the school district for the right to collect taxes, as well as for additional compensation to collect taxes. In June 2018, Mrs. Kabel filed a second lawsuit against the collection policy and procedures set forth by the School Board. The school district never disputed Mrs. Kabel’s legal right to collect taxes; however, the district was also not notified of her desire to do so until she sued the school district. The district was in the process of turning things over to Mrs. Kabel when the District was notified the end of June that Mrs. Kabel is unable to obtain the necessary bond to collect the District’s real estate taxes.
What is a tax collector bond?
The Local Tax Collection Law requires tax collectors to be bonded in order to collect taxes. The bonding requirement acts as an insurance policy to protect the over $60 million in District tax revenues annually. The law is clear that Mrs. Kabel is prohibited from collecting the District’s taxes due to her inability to obtain the statutorily-required bond. As a result, on Monday, July 2, 2018, the District obtained emergency injunctive relief. Unless Mrs. Kabel is able to produce a bond, the injunction remains in effect. Mrs. Kabel is forbidden by court order from processing any tax payments for the school district. As a result, the district has been put in a position where we must create and notify the over 14,000 taxpayers of an alternate system of collection.
Could the school district have prevented this situation?
This situation is out of the district’s control as Mrs. Kabel did not obtain the statutorily-mandated bond in order to qualify to collect the District taxes. At no time prior to July 2nd did Mrs. Kabel give any indication whatsoever that she would have difficulty obtaining the required bond. To the contrary, when asked by the school district, she repeatedly indicated she would have no difficulty obtaining a bond. It is our goal to make this disappointing situation as convenient as possible for our taxpayers.
How should I pay my 2018/19 Real Estate tax bill?
In order for our community to pay their school district real estate tax bill, effective immediately, all School District Real Estate tax payments should be taken to the Manheim Township School District Administration Office or mailed to the MTSD Tax Office, P.O. Box 5386, Lancaster, PA, 17606. Real estate tax payments should be payable to the Manheim Township School District.
What if I already paid my bill and wrote it out to Mrs. Kabel?
While it is preferred that payments be made out to the MTSD, checks made payable to Patricia Kabel will be honored.
Am I permitted to take my payment to Fulton Bank as I have done in the past?
No. Due to anticipated collection of taxes by Mrs. Kabel, the required bar code needed for automatic processing through Fulton Bank was not printed on the bills. Consequently, payments may not be dropped off at a Fulton Bank branch as was the previous process for tax payment.
My bill automatically goes to my mortgage company. Did that still occur this year?
Yes. Bills were sent to mortgage companies for payment.
How will my mortgage company know to make the checks out to the School District rather than Mrs. Kabel?
Due to this unfortunate situation, the district contacted all of the major mortgage companies that we receive payments from (Wells Fargo, Corelogic, Lereta). Corelogic and Lereta are mortgage servicing companies that represent smaller mortgage companies (Fulton Bank, for example). As a best practice, it is always good to verify that your mortgage company has correct information for payment and will pay within discount period.
What if my mortgage company still sends my payment to Mrs. Kabel’s office?
The district will be obtaining any payments that are sent to Mrs. Kabel on a daily basis.
What will happen with Mrs. Kabel’s lawsuits?
The district continues to be disappointed that yet again, Mrs. Kabel has unnecessarily caused confusion among our residents. We are thankful that we continue to receive support from our community and remain hopeful that Mrs. Kabel drops the two lawsuits that remain outstanding and stop wasting district monies.
Where can I get additional information to keep up to date on this matter?
The district will continue to communicate updates to our community through Facebook, Twitter and our website. Information from our website can be found here: https://www.mtwp.net/2018/07/law-suit-re-tax-collection-in-manheim-township/
A copy of the most recent emergency injunction filed by the school district to collect real estate taxes, as well as all legal filings can be found here: