|Council Delays Decision on Tax Ordinance|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2013 00:00|
Plans to initiate a more concerted Tipp City tax collection monitoring and enforcement system were delayed Dec. 17 by a request for more time to review proposed tax code changes.
Council was scheduled to consider an ordinance to codify the income tax ordinance as part of the city codes, a step Law Director David Caldwell said was needed before the city started pursuing court action against those who fail to file and/or pay city income taxes.
As part of the ordinance council was being asked to consider what Finance Director John Green described as “a few” changes in the code.
Among those proposals is assessing costs of collection activities beyond the normal department operations (court filing fees, collection agency fee) to the delinquent taxpayer and increasing the maximum fine for noncompliance from $500 to $1,000.
Councilman Joe Gibson, who was unable to attend a Dec. 3 meeting discussion on tax department operations and enforcement options, said the changes were sent to council the Friday before the Dec. 17 meeting. He asked during the work session for more time to review proposed changes.
The material, he said, “Is a lot to digest.” He lauded the efforts to make the tax code better, but said he’d like more time for review particularly with more focus on collections planned.
Council President John Kessler said he was not sure if there was “a hurry” to approve the changes but added, “Here is the impetus to get something done.”
City Manager Jon Crusey said added review time would delay cases that were ready to file for failure to file and or pay, but not cause other problems.
Council voted 7-0 to table the ordinance until its Jan. 7 meeting.
A more concerted tax collection monitoring and enforcement system was among recommendation from an accounting firm that reviewed department operations earlier this year.
The city hired Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. of Springfield to investigate the department, its procedures and the handling of taxes owed by the operators of the closed Independent Voice newspaper. Partners in the Troy Great Miami organization that ran the paper included Kessler.
The accounting firm, in a report released in the fall, concluded no special treatment was given to the business and its partners.
The Dec. 3 discussion covered how the department is dealing with recommendations made in that report along with operations and enforcement options.
Council appeared to support a possible income tax amnesty program, taking more court actions to collect unpaid taxes and use of a collection agency to identify through checking federal tax information those not paying the local income tax and helping with collection efforts.