Thursday, December 3, 2009

Todd Eachus-Why Do You Need A Per Diem When You Own A Home In Harrisburg?

According to Dauphin County Courthouse records located in the Recorder of Deeds office Todd Eachus and his wife, Ellen, purchased a home at 225 South Street in Harrisburg on August 30, 2005 from Anthony DiSanto. The records also indicate that they took out a mortgage from Wachovia Mortgage Company on the property for $100,000.00.

The interesting part is that according to records located in Luzerne County Eachus and his wife took out a mortgage with Pinnacle Residential Mortgage, Inc. a little over one year previous on April 8, 2004 for $136,600.00. It appears that this instrument may have been a refinance of their home located in Wyeth Place, Drums.

The Eachuses took out a mortgage on their home located at Wyeth Place on April 5, 2001 for $138,500.00 with Principal Residential Mortgage, Inc.
Previous records indicate that they satisfied a mortgage with Atlantic Financial Federal that was eventually assigned to Principal Residential Mortgage on July 31, 2001. Eachuses originally borrowed $156,900.00 on June 16, 1989 when they purchased their home at Wyeth Place for $189, 900.00.

A research of Pennsylvania legislator salaries indicate that Todd Eachus's base salary was $66,203 for 2004 and $69,647.00 for 2005.

Latest property reassessment figures for Luzerne County show that the Eachus property in Wyeth Place has a total tax liability of $3,660.00 per year.

Usually a per diem is a sum of money given to an employee to cover daily expenses associated with one's job by the employer. It is given for lodging, meals, and other expenses incurred while traveling.

Since Mr. Eachus has chosen to purchase a "Second Home" as defined in his mortgage on file in Dauphin County one has to wonder whether the travel expense is justified. Most companies pay per diem based on actual expenses incurred. But not our legislators in Pennsylvania.

Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote a great article last December titled "Probing the per diem scam". The published an Opinion back in September called 'Per-diem' payments should require proof'. As highlighted in the opinion legislators are paid the per diem whether they incur actually any expenses or not.

It would seem to SightsOnPennsylvania that if Mr. Eachus has the wherewithall to purchase a second home he should get off the backs of Pennsylvania taxpayers and forgo the per diem payments. The Newsitem opinion points out that Harrisburg legislators are not entitled to per diem. Since Mr. Eachus made a declaration on his Dauphin County mortgage of a "Second Home" rider it seems he should not be entitled to per diem. A home is a home is it not?

Per diems include expenses for lodging and meals. Since Mr. Eachus already has lodging then the per diem must be for meals. At a rate of $163.00 per day that would seem to be alot for food for one person. If that is not the case then is the per diem being misappropriated to pay for a second home? Are Pennsylvania legislators using per diems to purchase property and thus raise their net worth?

Mr. Eachus has made the assertion that lawmakers ought to be compensated for their time in Harrisburg. Great point. Todd, that is why you get paid your $113,000.00 salary. Mr. Eachus claims that the per diems are not income. Well, Todd, if you take more that you actually incurred what would you call that?

Evidently taxpayers are paying enough for legislators to financially fund the purchase of two homes and their associated expenses including heat, light, electricity, cable, insurance, property taxes, mortgage payments, etc. I wonder how those taxpayers feel who lost their homes this past year. Todd, those may be real expenses but there are those who suffered a real tragedy. Keep reminding us why we need to rid Harrisburg of the "stinkin thinkin".

I've got to pick out whats in the pocket So I can leave these pockets clean ....An' I know how your mind works Open your eyes and watch the roadworks Come on out It cant get much worse.

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