What does centralized collection mean?
Why we believe state centralization of municipal income tax should not move forward…
- Our local Tax Office provides face-to-face service to approximately 7,000 taxpayers annually for no additional charge. We do not believe the State would provide this service nor be available to assist our residents when needed. Annually, we process about 25,000 returns.
- A major question arises in who would handle problem resolution. From non-compliant filers to delinquent payers and other issues, a severe gap would exist in the State's ability to handle these concerns. If the State did handle these items, the fees charged back to the communities would further reduce revenues realized.
- From a financial aspect, the annual cost of our department to collect the taxes is around 2.5%. To my knowledge, this is lower than any competitor's total cost.
- By collecting the tax on the local level, cash flows are immediate and direct, absolutely necessary in this financial and economic environment. With centralized collection, the State would direct when we get our money, taking the management away from those charged with the fiscal responsibility for appropriate spending. A delay in State distribution could potentially cause decreased levels of service in Police, Fire, Streets, etc. The State has been touting the Ohio Business Gateway as an example of how efficient their process would be. In the last two weeks, we have had three occasions where those files have been delayed, and in December we experienced a five-day gap in processing. Imagine if these inconsistencies and inefficiencies became the normal…
- In an effort to authenticate the value of our service to the state decision-makers, we have begun an informal survey of the residents who use, and value, our service. Many have voiced how much they appreciate the face-to-face service provided by the City and how grateful they are that we are available to them. If they are inclined, we have a letter for them to sign that we intend to forward to our representatives, illustrating the wishes of the citizens. We have addressed the letter to Governor Kasich, Senator Obhoff, and Speaker Batchelder.
In conclusion, we know our residents, homes, and businesses better than anyone else. Customer service at the City's Tax Office is immediate, direct and unmatchable. It is in the best interest of our city to handle the servicing of our taxpayers here in Brunswick. We feel that losing control of the collection of our taxes puts an unnecessary added burden on city administration. Brunswick was one of the first communities to make known our opposition to this proposal, passing a resolution in June, 2011, voicing our concerns about the centralization plan. We thank the Brunswick City Council for their support in this endeavor to keep Income Tax servicing here in the City.