Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Pennsylvania Tax Collector bond (otherwise known as a Public Official bond).
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
- Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
- Who Needs It: All tax collectors appointed for state, county, or city offices in Pennsylvania
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the tax collector commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power
- Who Regulates Tax Collectors in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Act 48-2015, Section 4 requires all tax collectors appointed for state, county, or city offices to obtain a surety bond before being sworn in for their office term. The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the surety bond requirement to ensure that tax collectors do not abuse their position of power. To provide financial security for enforcing such laws, tax collectors must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for their appointed position.
What Is the Purpose of the Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond?
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Act 48-2015, Section 4 requires all appointed tax collectors to purchase a surety bond as part of the process of being sworn into office. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the tax collector fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Act 48-2015. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the tax collector commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the tax collector violates the terms surrounding their appointed position.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Pennsylvania Tax Collector bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “tax collector” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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How Is the Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond Amount Determined?
The Pennsylvania Tax Collector bond limit is determined by the appointee’s local Clerk of Courts office and shall never exceed the estimated amount of the taxes charged in the duplicates delivered to the tax collector.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond?
If the Pennsylvania Tax Collector bond limit is under $50,000, a credit check is not required. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same rate is offered to all public officials in Pennsylvania regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Pennsylvania Tax Collector Bond Cost?
The Pennsylvania Tax Collector bond typically costs $100 per year or $10 per month. However, if the required bond limit is over $50,000 (this is unlikely), premium costs can vary. In most cases, rates sit at 0.5% of the bond amount.
How Does Pennsylvania Define “Tax Collector”?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, a tax collector is an appointed public official who collects unpaid taxes from state, county, or city residents or corporations on behalf of the government.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Tax Collectors Become Appointed in Pennsylvania?
Tax collectors in Pennsylvania must navigate several steps to obtain approval for appointment by the local Clerk of Courts office. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Tax Collector Resources webpage for details on the process.
Appointment Period – The appointment term for a tax collector in Pennsylvania is generally four years. Re-election for an additional appointment term is not an option.
Step 1 – Fulfill Financial Requirements
Before a tax collector may be officially appointed for state, county, or city office, they must purchase and maintain a surety bond, as well as take and subscribe to an Oath of Office that is to be filed with their local Clerk of Courts office. In addition, all tax collectors must obtain two hours of mandatory continuing education during their four-year term of office. Further resources regarding such requirements can be found here.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Tax Collectors in Pennsylvania?
In most cases, Pennsylvania does not require tax collectors to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to being sworn into office. However, tax collectors must purchase and maintain a surety bond.
How Do Tax Collectors in Pennsylvania File Their Bonds?
Pennsylvania tax collectors should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to their local Clerk of Courts office. The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the tax collector. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- The legal name of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Pennsylvania Tax Collectors Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, tax collectors in Pennsylvania must follow all regulations regarding their appointed position, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Tax Collectors in Pennsylvania?
Most governing institutions will purchase liability insurance covering losses pertaining to a tax collector committing fraud, negligence, or misconduct. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Tax Collector Customers in Pennsylvania?
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not provide a public list of active tax collectors in the state. We suggest contacting the Department of Community and Economic Development to obtain a list of appointed tax collectors. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.