Last updated: July 21. 2014 5:24PM - 425 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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The City of Cleveland would collect delinquent London income taxes under an agreement proposed by Mayor Dave Eades on Thursday.

Eades told city council members Cleveland’s Central Collection Agency (CCA) provides income tax services to 68 other municipalities throughout Ohio and offers an alternative to services by the Ohio Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA).

RITA representatives approached council in recent months with a plan to assume all London income tax collections and effectively close the city tax department.

“With RITA you lose control of your finances,” Eades said.

Under a draft agreement with CCA, London’s tax department remains intact. The Cleveland agency will simply collect delinquencies and locate city residents who fail to file or under-report their incomes, using IRS records.

Unlike RITA, CCA charges no annual fee, but will bill London for up to 5 percent of all money it collects , Eades added.

Council president Pat Closser wants an opinion on CCA services from London Tax Director Randy Courter. The director was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

Eades assured Closser that Courter supports the draft agreement with CCA.

But Closser wasn’t satisfied. He insisted Courter appear before council and express his views in person.

Council took no further action on Eades’ proposal.

In other meeting business on Thursday, city council failed to act on 50 percent property tax abatement for a planned Taco Bell restaurant on West High Street. A motion by member Dick Minner for an executive session to discuss the abatement failed when others did not “second” Minner’s motion.

Member Rodney Lauer said Minner’s motion lacked a specific reason for the executive session. In addition, the abatement resolution didn’t include details.

Council also failed to act on a resolution sponsored by Lauer to spend $5,000 on temporary repairs to the gym floor at the London Community Center. Sale of the center and adjoining former high school building to Brightway Institute is pending.

Council also left untouched Lauer’s resolution to spend $10,000 for improvements to Washington Avenue storm sewers.

However, a resolution passed that authorized discussions with the Ohio Auditor’s Office regarding a city-wide performance audit.

Likewise, council approved a resolution to appropriate land adjacent to the Toland Avenue bridge in order to make improvements to the decaying structure.

Council also approved an ordinance to advertise for bids and contract for lime sludge removal from the city water plant.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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