City Council Closes Year by Approving Budget, Joining RITA
Regional Income Tax Agency to collect taxes in Cleveland Heights
Cleveland Heights City Council met on Monday, Dec. 20. The first meeting of 2011 is tonight. In case you missed it, here are a few important resolutions that passed at the meeting.
The Regional Income Tax Agency will collect taxes for the 2011 filing season instead of Cleveland Heights.
RITA collects taxes in 185 other cities around Ohio, and people will now be able to file their taxes online.
"This move is taking regionalism to its best extent, we are joining a council of … governments, who pool their resources to allow for the effective and efficient collection of taxes," said Councilman Mark Tumeo, who is on the Finance Committee. He said by joining RITA, the city would save about $300,000-$500,000 per year.
Nine people will lose their jobs as a result of the change, said City Manager Robert Downey. Employees will have six months to find a new job.
"Some will retire, there will be some who will interview for other jobs, and some people who will interview with RITA," Downey said.
He said his goal is to keep as many people employed with the city as possible.
"RITA has technology that we don't have. It's not because these aren't good, hard workers," Downey said.
When the bill passed at the council meeting, Tumeo closed with a similar sentiment.
"We are working on easing that transition as best as possible," he said. "We're going to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, we are going to ensure that these people are taken care of.
"These are people. We have to cut budgets, we have to cut salaries, but we don't have to do it in a brutal way."
Council also passed budget adjustments for 2010 and expectations for 2011. At the end of each year, council members have to move money from some departments and give more to others to balance the budget, Tumeo said.
The city plans to spend $40,993,617 from the general fund in 2011, he said, which is about $686,000 less than what the city spent last year.
Council also passed an ordinance that allows residents to have access to the indoor pool at Cleveland Heights High School with purchase of a yearly pass.
"Let's take advantage of it, let's use it, let's not let this be the best-kept secret in Cleveland Heights," Mayor Ed Kelley said. "We worked very long and very hard with the school board to make this happen. It's a great thing to have swimming year-round in our community."