YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

To the editor:

The need to change the manner in which the city collects its income tax revenues has never been more pronounced nor more justified. In fact, I can think of 50,000 reasons per year why this is the case. As a candidate for the office of treasurer for the city of Salem, I am committed to the RITA program because of the potential financial benefits it carries for the city.

The following list outlines the financial benefits to the city:

The Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), established and authorized by the state of Ohio to administer the tax collection functions of 45 percent of Ohio’s municipalities, has a track record of performing its tax collection services at a substantially lower cost than its client municipalities can.

RITA has quoted the city of Salem, at the request of the mayor, a fee of between 2.16 percent and 2.36 percent of the city’s gross projected 2017 revenue of $6.5 million. This equates to a cost to the city of between $140,400 and $153,400 per year.

According to the city auditor’s records, the city tax collection office is projected to cost $189,241.13 for the year 2017 … and this sum will increase every year with annualized wage and benefit increases.

So the savings to the city, best case, is projected to be just short of $50,000 per year. And why do I say we look at the “best case”? Because, RITA has issued to the mayor their public track record of beating their quoted fee structure in Ohio communities that have signed on within the last three years. Ask the mayor for this report.

Meanwhile, we would be replacing an antiquated, virtually all manual system, with one in which electronic personal tax filings can take place and in which tax payer compliance can be enhanced way beyond our current capabilities.

Informed voters must examine every candidate’s position on major issues before they make their decision in the ballot box on Nov. 7. The implementation of the RITA program is a decision that will financially benefit the city and, as a candidate for the city treasurer position, my goal is to move the city in this direction. The RITA program will generate additional funds, allow taxes to be collected more efficiently, and is a sound business decision for the city.

BOB HILTBRAND,

Salem

Candidate for Salem City treasurer

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