Is RITA right for village: Bellville may hire outside firm to collect local taxes

BELLVILLE — A proposal by a firm which monitors tax processing got mixed reviews at last week’s meeting of the village council.

Chuck Hawk, with RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency) told council 310 municipalities in Ohio use his firm’s services.

The group charges for use of its services. In Bellville’s case it is estimated it would run for $18,930 to $20,922 per year.

The group is a non-profit operating from Brecksville offices. Fredericktown is the only municipality in Richland County using the service, officials said.

Larry Rose, formerly on council, asked a number of questions. He said he wanted to know who monitored “audits and returns to 100 percent correction.”

He said he is thinking if RITA is used, the local tax department would no longer be needed.

Hawk said his group is an “extension of the tax department” but that a person locally would not need to be there “100 percent of the time.”

He said in the long run there would be a savings for Bellville.

“Lots of times it pays for itself,” he said.

A woman who said she has been a resident of Bellville for a number of years said she thinks people would be more comfortable dealing with people they know.

Hawk said that would still happen when people go to village offices for paying bills.

Mayor Teri Brenkus said she proposed exploring the idea of using RITA after discussion with other local mayors.

A problem the village can have with contractors who do work is that they may come in and do a project for 20 days. There is a provision saying they must be doing work for 21 consecutive days before they are required to do all the filings in reporting taxes.

Some reporting has fallen through the cracks because contractors can come in and have a crew work two days here, then work another two days later.

It was agreed the RITA proposal should be handled by the finance committee of council.

Council member Josh Epperson told council contractors are picking up plans for expanding the village cemetery.

Bidding closes at 2 p.m. Sept. 17.

Council approved a plan to purchase .2 acres of land to add to the cemetery property. Plans are for the project to be completed by May of next year.

Three people were named to the income tax appeals board. They are Larry Rose, former council member Joann Palmer and Lance Dill.
Bellville may hire outside firm to collect local taxes


By Louise Swartzwalder

Bellville Star