Marysville's mission: Collect past-due income taxes
The city of Marysville is on a mission to collect past-due income taxes through what Mayor John Gore called "aggressive" action.
Last September, Nancy Meyer was hired to serve as assistant finance director and to help with city tax collections. One of the first problems she identified was a lack of consistency in enforcing tax collections; some people who did not file or failed to pay got a letter while others did not, or some got phone calls while others did not.
Meyer has spent the last few months shifting through cases dating back to 2006, focusing on people who owe money and on people who have failed to file.
From Dec. 19, 2012, to May 23, 2013, Meyer said 133 "balance due" cases have been filed with Marysville Municipal Court and eight more are scheduled for court between May 24 and July 22. The taxpayers were not found in nine other cases.
Of the cases involving taxpayers who owe money, Meyer said the city has collected $34,268 and set up payment plans over the next year for $34,105 for a total of $68,373.
Gore said hiring Meyer was a financially sound move considering the number of cases of balance-due taxes or non-filing residents she has found so far.
"She has already paid her salary," he said.
Meyer said the city is trying very hard to notify residents by letter if they owe money.
"For non-filing cases, I want everyone to be notified by letter," she said.
Once the letter is sent, the taxpayer has 60 days to respond or the city will send the case to court.
"We don't want to take people to court. We'd rather sit down with you and work it out. But you at least need to get a hold of us," Gore said.
Meyer knows there will be some people who will not be found and some who will want to file a declaration of exemption.
"But they have to give us proof," she said. "We just can't take somebody's good word. Our files are subject to audit by the state."
Both Gore and Meyer said they have heard from people in the community who appreciate the city's diligence in collecting unpaid taxes.
"If you stop and think about it, it's not fair to those that are paying their taxes and work hard to pay their taxes for the services they receive," Meyer said.
City Finance Director Jenny Chavarria said anyone with questions can call 937-642-6015 or visit the income tax office at 125 E. Sixth St., and have city employees walk them through the process.
"The city of Marysville is a business," Gore said. "We're elected by the people to hire the right people to do their job to run the city. We're looking for professionals and we found someone in an area we needed improvement in and that's part of the business."