At the Aug. 27, Barnesville Council meeting, a vote was taken to proceed to "farm" out the local village income tax collections to R.I.T.A. (Regional Income Tax Authority). Basically it was to get more money for the village an to save money on personnel. The vote was 3-2 and 3 votes do not constitute a majority.
At the Aug. 13, meeting, I made a report to council showing that sending the payroll and the income tax collections out of town would not save personnel money. The cost for outsourcing payroll is $14,000 to start and approximately $5,800 each year thereafter.
To outsource the income tax would cost approximately $21,500. The current position is a multiple position which is part-time income tax clerk, part-time payroll clerk, part time e-squad billing and receipts, and part-time assistant to the fiscal officer. All of these jobs fall under the Fiscal Officer's office and the wages and benefits are divided according to where the work is done.
Those who support R.I.T.A. state that it could bring in anywhere from $13,337 to $80,024. That means that the Village of Barnesville has from $1,333,760. to $8,002,460. (yes millions) of unreported or under reported income. That is a lot of money for this small community. I think that the majority of the people who work or live in Barnesville are cooperative and honest in filing their income taxes. I doubt that it would show any increase. The big issue is access to W-2's. The manor in which the Income Tax Department operates is confidential, but I can assure you that it has the means to verify income.
I do not see any benefit in sending a job out of our village. That is taxable income to the village and money that is spent in Barnesville. Collections in Barnesville are deposited daily in an interest bearing account. R.I.T.A. would disperse them once or twice a month.
When a new fiscal officer was hired last year, council decided that the office must be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Without the position of Income tax clerk/Assistant to the Fiscal Officer, that means one person must cover 40 hours each week, plus attending council meetings and special meetings. That means when that person is sick, on vacation, or at a training session, etc. there is no one to cover the office. These two positions have worked for over 25 years and have been very accessible to the public.
I hope that you will speak to any or all of the council members and voice your thoughts on this issue. Those who supported this change were John Jefferis, Brad Hudson, and Tony Johnson. Dale Bunting and Bill Stottler opposed the change and Terry McCort was unable to attend the meeting.
Let's keep our money here.
Former Fiscal Officer