As the recently retired tax administrator of the city of Bellefontaine, but most importantly as a citizen of the city of Bellefontaine, I am writing this letter in opposition of the city administration’s efforts to have the city income taxes collected by an outside source.
There are two agencies that they are looking into, including Regional Income Tax Agency and Central Collection Agency. While both of these agencies are collecting income taxes for multiple cities in Ohio, I do not feel that this is the best route for our city to be taking. In my opinion, losing control of the city’s tax collection would not be beneficial financially and good customer service for the citizens of Bellefontaine would be jeopardized.
In a recent article in the Bellefontaine Examiner, Service Safety Director Jim Holycross stated that the city would be paying approximately two percent to three percent of their gross income tax collections to an outside source for the service. The total receipts for 2014 were roughly $5.9 million, so even at a conservative 2.5 percent, there would be close to $150,000 flowing out of our local economy into someone else’s. The total budget for 2015 for the tax department minus the refund appropriations is $150,283 so it would be about the same, except that it is staying local. Even if an outside source is collecting the taxes, Mr. Holycross did state that there would be someone locally to assist taxpayers with any questions so that position would have to be budgeted for also in addition to what is paid to the agency.