New Plan to Modernize our Tax Department
New Plan to Modernize our Tax Department:
We heard the concerns of the voters who wanted to keep our local tax department and local tax collection service. The Euclid Tax Department explored other ways to improve our tax collections and is recommending this new partnership with the Regional Income Tax Agency. This new plan keeps the current Euclid Tax Department and important local full time service in place while adding new technology, data and security through a partnership with Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA). This investment in our tax department will result in additional tax revenue that is already owed to us. This is not a tax increase.
There have been several Council committee meetings on the topic and a Town Hall meeting held 9/28. Some common questions include:
Didn’t the voters say no to this? The voters overturned ordinance No. 13-2019 that would have turned over the administration and collection of our income taxes to RITA. This is a new plan that is responsive to the voters’ concerns and keeps our local tax department, staff and local services intact while partnering with RITA to improve technology, collection processes, access to data, security measures -- all to help increase our collections.
Will this cost me more? No, if you are paying your income tax as you are supposed to, this will not cost you anything more.
Will I still be able to file at City Hall? Yes, this plan maintains our current tax department, current staff, and full time hours – in fact we are currently renovating their space so they can safely serve the public. You will be able to come in to the Euclid Tax Department or call the Euclid Tax Department as you always have. In addition, you will be able to file on-line through RITA or visit any of their customer service centers.
If I get a notice from RITA, can Euclid tax staff still help me? Yes – Euclid Tax Department staff will have full access to all Euclid tax data and can assist as they always have including setting up payment plans, helping complete tax returns, answering questions, etc.
Can I file on-line? Yes, with this partnership with RITA, Euclid taxpayers will have access to e-filing as well as the ability to access taxpayer account information through an automated phone system 24 hours-a-day/ 7 days-a-week.
Why can’t our tax department do this on their own? Our tax department researched alternatives and there is nothing that compares to RITA’s proprietary software and technology. We also would get access to Federal Income Tax data that we cannot get on our own. We can hire more staff, but without the technology and data we will continue to leave income tax uncollected.
How will this help us collect more money? RITA’s proprietary technology brings more efficient filing and collection processes. RITA provides better data with access to Federal Tax Information that will help identify new accounts, non-filers, and under-reporters. Euclid staff will focus on delinquent accounts and failure to file which will result in increased collections. To provide some examples, other cities who changed to RITA collected substantial more revenue:
Examples of collections in first full year with RITA*:
- 2011: Cleveland Heights- increase $2.7 million
- 2016: Wadsworth- increase $756,000
- 2016: North Canton- increase $583,000
- 2013: Painesville- increase $760,000
- 2015: Solon- increase $817,000
*Shared at City Council Committee meeting 11/14/18
Will we be paying double? No, our staff will provide the important local customer services and also focus on failure to file, delinquent accounts, under-reporters as well as pro-active collection activities. These services are not part of the base RITA contract and would require additional costs if we chose to contract for them. Our Euclid staff will handle these activities in addition to maintaining local service to our residents.
Want more information? See www.cityofeuclid.com or call me at 216-289-2751.