On Monday, May, 2020 West Unity Village Council held a special meeting with Brian Thunberg of RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency). Present at the meeting were all council members (except Terry LeBowsky), Village Administrater Josh Fritsch, Chief of Police JR Jones, Fiscal Officer Sarah Hidgon and Soliciter Katie Rakes.
Thunberg shared that RITA is a full service tax collection agency which covers over 50% of the state, collecting over 1.4 billion dollars in local income taxes. It is a non-profit organization and partners with software companies to allow customers to file electronically.
They collect data from the IRS to help determine who needs to file, look for errors such as missing W2’s and people who failed to file. They have E-filing capabilities, 24/7 access to accounts and payment plans, as well as an app called Fast File where a taxpayer can use the E-file system.
Questions raised by the mayor and council members (and Thunberg’s answers):
- Q-Is a contract required? A-No, but they do ask that new clients stay at least six months
- Q-Is there a fee? A-Yes, up to 3%. At the end of the year RITA will run a cost analysis and if the cost of working the account is less than 3% there will be a refund. If the cost is more, then that will be added to the next year’s billing.
- Q-Collection and Court costs? A-RITA will handle the collections and assist with court. They charge $35 an hour for the court cost and collection costs are built into the 3% fee. The court fees are shared with other municipalities in the county that they also represent. RITA will try and schedule a day at court and take all the cases at once to help with costs. RITA will help set up a legal fund for the Village. If a case ends up going to RITA’s outside collection agency Reimer & Associates, they charge 18% interest and that is passed along to the taxpayer.
- Q-Figures on collecting non-filers and what kind of increase could be expected? A-Thunberg said he will get back to them with that information.
- Q-If a taxpayer filed at the village office, would the village still be charged for it? A-Any transaction they process will be added to the cost for the village.
- Q-Would they provide a link that could be on the Village website so tax payers could pay their taxes that way? A-Yes
Following some discussion and a suggestion that they review it in a year, as well as the knowledge that, with the projected start date of July 1, RITA will pro-rate the cost from then to the end of the year, the council voted to waive the three readings and to approve the Resolution.
Resolution 1-2020-10 A resolution authorizing the Village Administrator Josh Fritsch, of the Village of West Unity, to execute an agreement with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) to participate in the Regional Council of Government for the purpose of administration and collection of municipal income in the Village of West Unity, Ohio, and Declaring an Emergency.
It was also agreed that they will hold off on hiring a new person at this time, which they had agreed to do at an earlier meeting.
Source: The Village Reporter