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Lisbon to take second look at RITA

LISBON — The village is apparently going to take a second look at hiring an outside government agency to take over income tax collections.

Councilman Peter Wilson said at this week’s council meeting that perhaps now was a good time to reconsider replacing the income tax office by hiring the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) to take over those duties since voters in the Nov. 5 election approved a 0.5 percent increase in the village income tax.

Officials looked into contracting with RITA last year and learned it could save the village an estimated $17,000 per year if they went back to a using full-time tax administrator. The idea was voted down in February because council felt residents prefer the convenience of being able to stop by the tax office in village hall and the personal touch of being able to meet with the tax administrator.

Wilson, who takes over as mayor in January after defeating Mayor Roger Gallo in the recent election, was the chief proponent of switching to RITA but he abstained from the February vote. He noted Gallo had indicated he was open to taking a second look at RITA, which Gallo confirmed.

Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner saids she will contact RITA and obtain an updated quote.

Wilson also wondered when the council finance committee might meet to begin going over the 2020 budget and come up with a definitive plan on spending the new tax money, 75 percent of which is earmarked for the police department. Wonner expects to request a finance committee meeting in early December after she meets individually with department heads to review their budget needs.

In other news, Wonner reported on recent administrative measures she has undertaken to save the village money, starting with renegotiating new rates with Republic Services for pick up of trash at village hall, the street/water/sewer departments and the park. The village had been paying a combined $1,188 per month, which will drop to $186 starting in 2020.

Wonner reported she also entered into a contract with natural gas supplier ISG that will lock village government in at significantly lower rate for the next two years. The village is currently paying 77 cents per 1,000 cubic feet, which will drop to 41 cents, resulting in a total savings of $11,405 for the village.

“Nice job,” said Councilman Jeff Snyder.

“Good job on the savings,” Wilson added, later in the meeting.

Wonner said she also looking at switching back to Cintas to provide some of the work clothes for village employees, and using a local business — Hall of Fame — for clothing such as T-shirts and sweatshirts. This should provide significantly cheaper than continuing to use the current vendor.

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