Bentleyville Finance Committee
September 18th, 2013
Attendees: George Skipper, Finance Committee
Bernice Schreiber, Fiscal Officer
Leonard Spremulli, Mayor
Christine Comstock, Council; John Bourisseau, Council; Kathleen Hale, Council.
Meeting called to order at 6:00 P.M.
Approval of Minutes
Under Review of Financial Statement change "a $20,000 one time RITA payment" to read "$20,000 more than budgeted"
Under General Discussion change "MTDs" to "MDTs"
The accounts payable listing was reviewed and recommended for payment.
Review of Financial Statement
A review of the financial statements shows that Year to Date thru August 2013, the Village is currently approximately $120,000 better than budgeted. This variance to budget is explained primarily by revenue being higher than expected due to a one-time windfall from a $138,000 estate tax payment. The remainder of the variance is explained mostly by unexpected revenue from RITA. In addition, expenses continue to be lower than budgeted thru August.
We discussed an item at our meeting related to a Bentleyville resident. I had briefed Council on this item before the meeting and am reprinting the text of my email below to serve as an overview of our discussion:
As we’ve discussed at our previous Finance Committee meetings, Bentleyville has a resident who claims that he should not have to pay taxes in Bentleyville because he has domicile in United Kingdom (previously we thought it was France, but this was incorrect.) In any case, Deloitte represents this Bentleyville resident, regarding taxes they have paid to the Village. Deloitte is claiming that he changed his residence to the United Kingdom in 2008. He is seeking to amend his prior returns and be refunded a substantial amount of tax he paid (we guesstimate this liability to be over $50,000).
RITA denied his appeal on August 5, 2013. He then had 30 days to file an appeal to Bentleyville’s Tax Committee, which Deloitte filed September, 5 2013 and which was received by Bernice several days later.
Bernice, the Mayor and our Law Director have discussed the matter and have advised me that we have 45 days to convene our Board of Tax Review. This entity does exist per our code, but the code does not specify who all is on this Board. I am presenting the attached Legislation to address who will comprise this Board, which is required of us by our code.
Deloitte is requesting a hearing before Bentleyville's Board of Tax Review. The Board of Tax Review must schedule a hearing within forty-five days of the appeal.
The Law Director has researched the matter and pursuant to ORC 718.11, the resident is entitled to an appeal to the Board. Bentleyville established a Board of Review by ordinance many years ago but never established who constitutes the Board and what the purpose of the Board is. Ken drafted an ordinance addressing these issues which is attached.
I will present the ordinance to Finance on Wednesday and the ordinance will then be presented to Council for a vote that evening.
We immediately need to address this issue so the Board can hold a timely appeal on this matter. The taxpayer can then appeal the Board's decision to the Ohio Board of Taxation depending on the outcome.
We discussed the Ordinances on the agenda and agreed that all should be approved and that 26 should be approved but placed on second reading.
The Mayor attended our meeting and discussed that he is open to counsel on the Village's vacation policy and will look into it.
The Mayor also advised Finance Committee that legislation to create a separate, potentially full-time, service director position for the Village is forthcoming and he is open to feedback on that item.
The Mayor advised Finance that he will propose a new wage table for the police department in October. The new wages, if approved, will only be active going forward and will not affect current employees. The Mayor noted that it would be helpful to pass these wages in October since we will be hiring part-time police officers shortly and he would advise Council to bring them on under the new wages. The Mayor circulated a draft of his wage proposal.
A proposal for wages for the service department is forthcoming, but the Mayor did not circulate a draft at this time.
A proposal for all Village positions may also be forthcoming, but the Mayor advised it will not affect current employees.
The Mayor advised that Council should be prepared for him to present a deficit budget for 2014.
Bernice advised that Jonathan Slain and Bernice made a decision not to reinvest funds of $200,000 which were previously in a bond at Cedars Bank. Instead, these Village funds will remain liquid until such time as the market improves so that it can be reinvested at a higher interest rate. Even if these funds are not re-invested, the cost to the Village would be a maximum of $700 in lost interest. Jonathan and Bernice agreed that staying liquid was more important right now and will continue to search for opportunities to reinvest in a bond at a higher rate.
Meeting adjourned at 6:51 P.M.
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