YOUNGSTOWN Board finalizes deal for collecting taxes
The city expects collections to increase by $300,000.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city's board of control finalized an agreement with an outside agency to collect city income taxes.
Because of its expertise, experience and technology, the Regional Income Tax Agency should increase tax collection for the city by $300,000 in the first year by finding those who don't pay their city income tax, said Mayor George M. McKelvey at Thursday's board meeting.
As part of the contract, RITA will hire three employees from the city's income tax department at a comparable base wage.
The agency also plans to hire two other people for a Youngstown office at 20 Federal Place, the former Phar-Mor Centre on West Federal Street. The building is owned by the city.
RITA will pay about $7,500 a month in rent to the city: $5 per square foot for an office of about 1,500 square feet.
RITA will charge the city a fee of about 2.5 percent of the income tax it collects. The city collected about $41 million from its 2.75 percent income tax last year.
RITA, established in 1971 by a regional council of governments, provides income tax collection services to 116 communities in Ohio, including Girard, Campbell and Wellsville. Youngstown becomes the most populated city in Ohio to join RITA.
The board of control approved a one-year contract that is renewed annually unless RITA or the city chooses to end the arrangement. To do so, either side has to give written notice of withdrawal no later than July 1 in a given year with the withdrawal effective Dec. 31 of that year.
Also at Thursday's meeting, the board approved a $10,000 grant to Ursuline High School for improvements to its parking lot.
The school on Wick Avenue is using $35,000 of its own money for the improvements that include fencing, landscaping, lighting, asphalt and signs.
The $10,000 from the city is technically a loan, but repayment would be forgiven if Ursuline stays at its location for the next five years. Ursuline has been at that location for 100 years.