CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA – Carlisle has more tax issues as an audit of the tax collector’s office found $18,000 missing.
The audit came weeks after police arrested Tax Collector George Hicks Jr. on drug charges.
Cumberland County Controller Al Whitcomb said the tax collector had so far collected only a fraction of the taxes paid in cash that the borough collected last year.
“That’s a real red flag for us. That’s why we wanted to get the audit started to find out what was going on there,” Whitcomb said.
When he did more digging, and contacted taxpayers known to pay in cash, Whitcomb said records showed they still had to pay, but they told him they already paid and had receipts.
“There’s no question with a receipt that it was paid, but no record of it being deposited,” Whitcomb said.
Whitcomb said he sent a letter to Cumberland County, the Carlisle Borough and Carlisle School District to let them know that at least $18,000 appears to be missing.
Hicks was immediately barred from doing his job after his drug arrest, but will continue collecting his salary until the case is resolved.
Police said they don’t believe Hicks used taxpayers money on drugs.
An initial audit only shows money is unaccounted for. Whitcomb said it may have been put in a different office account.
“We let the record speak for itself. We’re only concerned that the people who paid get credit and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that’s the end result,” Whitcomb said.
So far, Whitcomb said he has only found discrepancies in tax bills paid in cash.
The controller is requesting Carlisle Borough officials check with all of its taxpayers to see if anyone else may not be getting crediting for paying.
Hicks’ attorney did not return calls requesting comment.
Results are being turned over to the Cumberland County district attorney.