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Clarion County Recorder’s Office Notches 35th Yearly Surplus

Even with revenue falling substantially in the office in the second half of 2022, Clarion County Register and Recorder Greg Mortimer announced this week that his office has handed over its 35th annual surplus to the county treasury in 2022.

“Rising interest rates and fewer deaths as a result of a waning covid-19 pandemic saw a big decline in the number of deeds, mortgages, and probated estates filed in the office as compared to the sharp increases in these items in 2021,” Mortimer stated.

“County revenue collected by the office was down substantially from the record $315,855.36 in 2021 to $280,303.80 in 2022—an 11 % decrease year over year and on par with the $283,080.91 collected in 2020,” Mortimer explained.

“At the same time, office revenue coming in at $280,303.80 in 2022 and office expenditures amounting to $237,097.16 still allowed the office surplus to total $43,206.64 for the past year—the 35th consecutive annual surplus handed over to the county treasury since I took office in 1988,” Mortimer noted.

“Last year saw a large decrease in the number of documents filed on the Recorder’s side of the office with the number of recordings nosediving from 5,450 recordings in 2021 to 4,459 in 2022 or nearly a 1,000 document drop or an 18% decrease in document filings year over year,” Mortimer reported.

The breakdown of the 4,459 documents recorded in 2022 included 1,482 deeds, 1,107 mortgages and assignment of rents, 1,111 satisfaction of mortgages, 44 lease-related documents, 183 right-of-ways and easements, 174 mortgage adjustments, 99 subdivision, and highway plans, 53 notary bonds and commissions, 59 power of attorneys, 57 financing statements, and 90 miscellaneous filings.

“Overall, there were 374 Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court filings clocked in during 2022 which is down slightly from the highly elevated 415 openings as a result of the increased deaths caused by the covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Normally there are approximately 300 filings each year in this category so the 2022 numbers are still elevated to some degree,” Mortimer noted.

“Finally, marriage license applications jumped slightly to 249 applications in 2022 compared to 243 in 2021 and up dramatically from the pandemic low of 211 in 2020,” Mortimer concluded.

Total collections in the office for 2022 (with 2021 collections listed in parenthesis) included:

Clarion County General Fund—$280,303.80 ($315,855.36) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—$179,586.00 ($213,343.75) Clarion County Records Improvement Fund—$8,914.00 ($10,900.00)

Clarion County Recorders Improvement Fund—$13,371.00 ($16,350.00) Registers/Clerks Automation Fund—$2,685.00 ($2,910.00)

Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Collections—$3,384,343.12 ($4,105,894.58) Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax Collections—$991,451.10 ($1,153,728.78) Local School Realty Transfer Tax Collections—$516,929.29 ($590,480.22) Baro/Township Realty Transfer Tax Collections—$480,887.54 ($565,077.97) Act 34 Adoption Fund—$1,275.00 ($2,250.00)

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