Welcome to election season!  There is a lot of information coming out seemingly on a daily basis. Some of this is correct and some of it is incorrect. For example, the $1M per year the pro RITA people are claiming RITA can collect from delinquencies has now ballooned to $3M.  This is totally incorrect. Our own mayor has publicly backtracked on ANY increase in delinquency collections from RITA and is on record saying so.

The Save Our Tax Dept. Facebook page is accessible to all and all postings are under true identities. It’s important for people to wade through the misinformation coming from scare tactics, bullet points and hidden identities. The issue with RITA is simply this: if you want to save our local, in house tax department and have your tax service local, then VOTE NO! 

If you have had stellar service, peace of mind and help when you needed it – VOTE NO!

VOTE NO! If you do not want your tax services outsourced to an entity that services 310 plus communities that you can only visit in Brecksville, Cleveland Hts., or Mentor. Sacrificing time and money and at the end of the day will cost us more than our tax department does now.

VOTE NO! If you do not want to lose your local service to an entity that may cause you grief and is not worth your precious time. Check out Yelp and Google to find those reviews.

There is absolutely no way that the alleged $1M pot of gold will be realized (that, now has ballooned to $3M). While it is true that business is coming into the city. It has been said that with the newly opening of Amazon, the city will be rolling in cash – This is simply not so.  As a matter of fact, there are businesses that are leaving the city, with no retention strategy in place.

Something we all can agree on is that the City does need more money. The risk with RITA is not worth the alleged reward. This change would be a much higher cost with no guarantee of increased delinquent collections. More money comes from positive economic development.

The Federal Tax Information that the Pro RITA people claim is the key means nothing.  Euclid’s own tax department obtains that information already from the State Tape that accesses the FTI. The City currently has a subpoena program that realizes collection with an actual attorney in court.  The costs are passed onto the delinquent taxpayer not to our City (RITA has an ala carte cost program that the City would pay for). The City obtains the names and addresses to send letters with a bill for $1,000. This usually brings in the scofflaws. So we don’t miss a beat. We just have an extra step.

E filing can be realized with a low cost upgrade to the software, yet the administration has no interest in spending the money for the program.  Employees that have left our current City tax department have not been replaced (even though they were budgeted for).

They say: (in small print)   We Say: (in bold italics)

 Improve Euclid's Budget & Enhance Payer Options Without Raising Taxes –

No one ever said taxes were being raised to our residents, at least not with the RITA issue. RITA will not enhance our budget – it will cost more.

Partnering with RITA is endorsed by the Mayor and was passed by City Council

This vote is endorsed by the Mayor and was passed by City Council – the vote was 5-4 with one councilmember changing his mind after voting no. The independent thinkers on council saw this “rush to judgment” and voted against closing our tax department.  There was not proper due diligence done when discussing this change. A vote to close our tax department will cost you, the taxpayer, and a loss in personal friendly service with NO guarantee of higher delinquency collections.

RITA uses industry best practices to better identify & pursue those that don't pay their taxes

RITA will cost the City of Euclid more money, possibly a lot more. RITA will withhold 3% of collections to cover their costs. This amounts to about $900,000.  This amount is more than twice what it cost to operate our own department last year. The extra costs come from their “al a carte” menu. The ala carte menu cost $8 for subpoenas (really just letters), $35 per hour for a paralegal, and in their sample contract they even list a buy in to belong to them. This cost has not been determined. We now get these services at no extra charge. The “best practices” are discussed here elsewhere.

Holding delinquent filers accountable is fair, increases and improves the City's budget

A robust economic development plan to prospect for business and obtain a good business mix will increase and improve the City’s budget.  The Mayor Stopped the non-filer program when she made the decision to switch to RITA, even before City Council knew of her decision. 

Improving collections means vital city services are protected

Vital city services will stay in place because 60% of the budget is for safety services and are mostly protected under union contract.  Our tax dept. is also a vital city service. See above economic development statement.

RITA's state-of-the-art technologies make it easy to view your information, file and pay online

If you were to pay online you will pay a service charge. Tax preparers always give you copies of your returns.   You can view the tax returns in hand anytime. We can also implement e- filing for a small additional cost.

RITA utilizes sophisticated security systems to ensure your personal information is protected

We contracted with MITS for safeguarding of your tax information. When the idea was to move to RITA, the Finance Director had all MITS data transferred onto an external hard drive in his office. That hard drive with your data is still there.  We’re not sure if it is protected or within Ohio’s compliance rules right this very minute.

While RITA does have electronic filing, the City could have electronic filing at a cost of about $10,000. So instead “E” filing, we have “P” filing. Personal filing. You can take your information into city hall and our dedicated staffs, which spend 100% of their time on Euclid, will fill the forms out for you at no cost. You will not have this service with RITA.  You will have to put up with their mistakes, rudeness, security breaches, and other issues.  Some of which has been reported on the local TV news channels.

Working with RITA will NOT increase your taxes

Switching to RITA means a higher cost of collecting each dollar in taxes…higher costs, hidden fees, reduced customer service …A BAD DEAL FOR EUCLID RESIDENTS!

For more information visit the Save our Tax Dept. on Facebook, where all are welcome or call (216) 759-2840

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 10.06.2019