If everything goes as planned on or about Oct. 1, 2011, the Village of Newcomerstown will no longer be managing the local income taxes.
During the June 6 council meeting, councilmembers voted 4-to-2 on the village's plan to contract with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) to manage the village's income taxes.
Councilmembers Burris Gardner, Sue Simmons, Earl McCormick and Heather Stein-Wells voted for the contract, while council members Janet Bush and Dave Hickman were against the contract.
Bush cited her reason for voting no was that she felt the village needed to retain as much money as possible due to the recent financial issues. The contract will permit RITA to collect 3 percent from each individual's local income taxes that are collected by the agency for the village. Hickman said he felt the village should possibly create a new job position for a local individual, not provide a job for an outside entity. He also said he supported Bush's feelings about the income tax revenue remaining with the village, and not being paid to someone else.
Other council members said they felt having the income tax service contracted out would be a benefit to the village and community as the contracted company will collect local taxes via mail-in process. Councilmember Simmons added that hiring a full-time village employee to be in the village office eight hours a day would not be a cost effective measure. She also pointed out that the new process would also accommodate citizens that are unable to meet deadlines to pay their taxes due to conflicts with work schedules and village office hours not being compatible.
Simmons said current village office staff members are not able to take on any additional duties at this time so adding this task to them would not be feasible.
Village Solicitor Robert Stephenson said the contract with RITA would be beneficial for the village by having more support in assessing late fees for delinquent taxes. He added that once the contract is effective RITA will completely review all local income tax policies, procedures and provide recommendations on how the village can be more effective with tax assessment and delinquency.
Fiscal Officer Kim Meek added that once the contract is signed with RITA there are steps that must be taken prior to the process being taken over by the agency. She said that one of the steps that must be taken is notifying the local citizens (via mail) of the new process.
Other business from the June 6 meeting included:
* Following a brief executive session to discuss compensation, wages council approved moving interim street superintendent Bob Martin to full-time street superintendent position. The position will pay Martin a salary of $26,761 per year.
* Council approved renewal of mutual aide to the Village of Gnadenhutten from the Newcomerstown Village Police Department.
Council's next meeting is set for June 20 at 7 p.m.