SALEM- City Council Tuesday night authorized the city treasurer to contract with the city of Cleveland to identify residents who are not paying their taxes and adopted an amnesty period for delinquent accounts.
Council unanimously approved both ordinances introduced by Councilman K. Bret Apple. The amnesty period will be from Oct. 1 through Nov. 14 and the contract with Cleveland to identify the non-filers will begin after that.
According to Income Tax Administrator Fred Pamer, the city is taking advantage of a federal program that allows municipalities of greater than 250,000 residents access to federal income tax filings. He said the program began last year and other Ohio municipalities have used the program to collect unpaid income tax, including Athens which collected approximately $50,000.
The city of Cleveland will offer its services for 5 percent of the amount collected with no upfront fee. The city will only seek assistance from Cleveland for accounts not already being pursued.
Pamer said the unpaid income tax accounts will be identified by comparing federal income tax filings with those in Salem. He also said Cleveland will be able to compare Salem tax returns filed to federal returns to discover underreporting and check on employers' employee withholdings.
The amnesty period will be advertised through public service announcements and provide a grace period for residents who have or think they have delinquent accounts to settle.
In other business, council authorized Public Safety Director Ken Kenst to hold an auction for the sale of an out-of-service police cruiser and approved the purchase of a new truck for $62,200 for the road department.
A Rules and Ordinances Committee is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall to discuss graffiti and possibly occupancy inspection fees.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org