Petitions for Norwin library tax referendum go to elections bureau
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Petitions seeking a referendum to ask Norwin School District voters if they want to repeal a significant portion of a public library tax have been delivered to the Westmoreland County Election Bureau for approval.
Mary Lou Patterson, spokesperson for the group seeking to cut the Norwin Public Library Tax from 1.2 mills to 0.2 mill, delivered 24 notarized petitions to school district business manager John C. Wilson last week.
Mr. Wilson then forwarded the documents containing 477 signatures of registered voters from Irwin, North Irwin and North Huntingdon to the election bureau in Greensburg.
"Our group followed the process outlined in [the] School Code to get the effort this far. Now it's all up to the county," said Mrs. Patterson, a former Irwin council member.
If the required 414 signatures are certified by election officials, following a likely challenge by Norwin Library Board of Trustees, and the petitions are approved by the county Board of Elections, a referendum will go on the May primary ballot.
The question for voters to consider would be: "Do you want to repeal a mill of the 1.2-mill Norwin Public Library Tax on taxable real estate within the Norwin School District."
A year ago, an attempt to place a similar referendum on the general election ballot was rejected by county commissioners sitting as the board of elections.
The board said the group failed to follow a "hand-off" process of those signed petitions to the Norwin School District administration as required by the Pennsylvania School Code. In addition, the board said the question was improperly written.
The statute requires a petitioner seeking a referendum to first present documents to the "governing body," in this case the Norwin School District. The district is required to deliver the documents to the county election bureau "in a timely manner."
Meanwhile, school directors will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday in the administration building to seek input on a proposed Act 1 referendum to increase the earned income tax from 1.0 percent to 1.6 percent.
The board will consider placing the question on the May 15 ballot during a meeting that will follow.
First Published March 8, 2007 12:00 am