I'm responding with my views regarding the recent presentation by the York County coroner to the board of commissioners to impose an additional $50 administrative fee on families of those people who choose to be cremated after death.

According to the coroner, this fee would come back to the office to assist in paying for the needs of the office. I note that the coroner may be unaware that funds raised by each office go into the general fund and the revenue distributed to each department as needed. Any administrative fees such as this might not be allocated directly back to the coroner's office budget. The commissioners can exercise discretion.

Also, there are several exemptions to paying this fee being considered, so the issue of ensuring the correct cause of death would still not be guaranteed in all cases.

Having said this, the fee seems to take on the appearance of a "death tax" that would require additional paperwork. I don't believe that grieving families either want or need to be burdened by additional fees at such a difficult time. The funeral directors would be the ones to collect such a fee that would be added to expenses for the funeral, and I can't imagine that collecting such a fee would be in their best interest.

I urge the commissioners to please keep in mind that the death of a loved one is enough of a burden to bear without an additional fee.


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The budget for the coroners' office should be properly funded out to the general fund without a special "tax" or fee being administered.

JOYCE VANDERSLOOT

West York