RITA: A difficult decision
To the editor:
Mr. Brian Thunberg, the governmental liaison for the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA) has appeared before City Council and explained how RITA could save the City of Salem $52,000 a year and explained other benefits of the authority. Obviously, a savings of $52,000 to the City of Salem is an important amount to discuss. However, this savings comes with loss as well.
First is the loss of all employees in the income tax department. These employees have worked collectively for the income tax department for over 50 years. Mr. Thunberg alluded to the fact that the $52,000 in savings would be the direct result of Salem closing the income tax department and laying off all of the employees.
Another loss would be any sort of in-town representation. If RITA were approved, Mr. Thunberg said there would be no representation in Salem and that the nearest office would be Youngstown. The treasurer stated that over 600 people came into the income tax office in the month of April alone and that it would be a hardship for those individuals to be forced to drive to Youngstown for face-to-face help on their income tax.
An additional loss would be the interest on money held by RITA. The city presently earns interest on its cash fund though a local bank. Last month the city earned $1,200 on our cash deposits. Mr Thunberg explained that RITA would use the interest earned on our money to pay RITA Administrative expenses.
Salem City’s finance committee will be discussing the RITA proposal at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 and I invite the citizens of Salem to attend that meeting and any future open meeting and indicate your wishes in this matter. All seven of the Salem city council members would like to hear from you on this issue.
Third Ward Councilman,