eCollect Plus, a tax auditing and collection firm for Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts, announced it has collected almost $4.5 million in delinquent real estate taxes for the Chester Upland School District over the last year.
The total amount collected is $1.7 million more than what the Chester-Upland School District projected in delinquent real estate taxes for the year.
Chester Upland retained the services of eCollect in a three-year contract for collecting delinquent real estate taxes. It receives a 5 percent collection fee and started its work last August.
“We have an effective collection method that works with delinquent individuals and businesses to pay their back taxes, while generating much needed new revenues for the Chester Upland School District,” Michael Hill, eCollect partner, said. “Our first year with Chester Upland has provided significant results that benefit its schools, residents and the surrounding community.”
District officials were pleased with the work so far.
“These revenue collections help us fund essential programs services for the entire school district,” Chester Upland School Board President Anthony Johnson said. “We have developed a great partnership with eCollect and we greatly appreciate the work they are providing for our district. They surpassed our initial budget projection, allowing us to allocate money to where we need it most right now.”
In addition to exceeding the budgeted collection amount for the current year, it surpassed the $3.1 million collected in 2017-18 and the $2.8 million in 2018-19.
Chester Upland has been in a financial recovery status since 2012. It is one of six school districts across Pennsylvania in this status. Local tax revenue accounts for 20 percent of Chester Upland School District’s budget, with real estate taxes being the primary source.
“The school district faces financial hardships that require it to rely heavily on every stream of revenue meeting its mark,” Chester Upland School District Receiver Dr. Juan Baughn said. “We must regularly overcome funding challenges, and having partners that can exceed expectations goes a long way to supporting the entire district. The company [eCollect] is a valued partner and one that understands our district’s needs.”
“We have spent many years in this industry and know that success is derived by helping everybody – governments, their employees and taxpayers alike – as often as we can,” Hill said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the school district and producing successful results for years to come.”