Friday, April 17, 2009

Flight 93 Memorial Creates Unforeseen Tax Problems

Shanksville-Stonycreek School District, a small community of 2500 in Somerset County, is the home of the Flight 93 crash site, a 1,400-acre area soon to be graced with a memorial. But while the residents support the crash victims, their families, and the idea of a memorial, what they do not like is the loss of as much as $38,000 a year in property taxes. Since the federal government does not pay such taxes, the citizens of Shanksville are faced with the loss of half a mill. Their current millage is 30.7. Superintendent Tom McInroy says though they have mailed letters requesting help to many prominent political entities -- even the president -- he and the school district can only plan for the worst. "It's kind of a long shot. It's kind of like Doug Flutie's pass when he was in Boston College, you know, the Hail Mary.... We're just planning for the worst and hoping for the best." McInroy says he did not ask for any specific figures, only some kind of assistance from the state and/or federal government. McInroy says other communities with monuments and memorials, such as Gettysburg, were assisted by an "amusement tax," but that tariff has since been outlawed by the state.

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