Mount Holly Springs plans to seek a refund on the thousands of dollars it has paid over the years in state and federal sales tax on diesel fuel.
For years, borough staff has fueled maintenance vehicles with diesel pumped from a storage tank at the municipal garage, Borough Manager Tom Day said. He told council Monday that, until recently, the tank was topped off each month by Shipley Energy.
Day was reviewing a receipt from Shipley when he noticed the borough was paying the regular retail price of $3.21 per gallon for diesel fuel. That price included the state and federal sales tax on fuel which, as a government entity, the borough is normally exempt from having to pay, Day said.
“It was discovered that we have always been paying full price for the fuel,” he told council. Day contacted the liquid fuels office of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. A staff member there advised him the borough may be eligible for a refund on sales tax going back seven years.
So far, Day has gathered up all the receipts for 2017 and 2018. “We are due back $4,112,” Day said. He plans to search through records in storage to find receipts going back to 2011. It will not be easy since the boxes are stored in an area infested with dust, dirt and insects.
Day then plans to submit copies of the receipts to the Department of Revenue. From there, the paperwork will go before a board of finance and review, which will determine how far back the state would be willing to go to refund sales tax that has already been paid, Day said.
“It’s a substantial amount of money that should be coming back to us,” Day said.
Meanwhile, the borough plans to have the storage tank removed. The tank was useful when there were no gas stations in the borough that had diesel fuel pumps.
“Once it is empty, Shipley will come and pick it up,” Day said. He employees will be issued a fuel card for each vehicle so that the borough can track the amount of fuel pumped for each vehicle during the year.