By DAVID GREEN
When Fayette’s tax administrator Dee Potter decides to retire, the duties covered by her might be turned over to an outside agency.
The council’s Finance Committee met last month with a representative from the Regional Income Tax Association (RITA) to learn about the organization’s services.
RITA serves as the income tax collection agency for 177 Ohio municipalities through the Regional Council of Governments. Currently, Swanton and Metamora are the only RITA members in Fulton County.
In addition to collecting taxes, RITA offers litigation services, online payment options, a free on-site representative to assist taxpayers during tax season, tax code recommendations and more.
By phasing out the tax administrator job, a rough estimate suggests savings of about $30,000 annually.
Committee member Tommy Molitierno expressed concern about an increase in the workload for existing village hall employees. He suggested that the tax administrator keep a log of daily activities to help the committee decide the feasibility of joining RITA.
Village administrator Amy Metz said six months is the typical lead-in time for a community to begin working with RITA, but a small government such as Fayette could be on-line yet this year.
BILLS—Metz told council at the Sept. 21 meeting that the village is getting very strict on the collection of water payments. She said it isn’t uncommon to find several postcards on a residence warning about a possible service shutoff.
Metz said that alternatives are suggested, including financial assistance, and payment schedules are encouraged. But if scheduled payments aren’t made, water service will be shut off.
Outstanding utility accounts are being assessed on property tax statements.
UNEMPLOYMENT—Metz learned that unemployment in Fulton County dropped from 12.6 percent a year ago to 9.7 percent in August.
In Williams County, the rated dropped from 15.8 percent to 11.8 percent in August. Statewide, only a small decline was posted.
ELECTRICITY—Village project engineer Bob Seigneur compared five potential electrical suppliers, but only two presented offers.
Duke Energy offered power at 6.3 cents a kilowatt hour on a nine-month term. The village’s current supplier, First Energy Solutions, offered rates ranging from 6.7 cents to 8.2 cents on a nine-year term. First Energy offers a six percent discount for residential users and a four percent discount for industrial users on the generation and transmission portion of a customer’s bill.
MEETING—Council voted 4-0, with Molitierno and Mike Maginn absent, to continue committee of the whole meetings at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month, through the end of the year. The regular council meeting follows on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m.