Beginning in two weeks, the Regional Income Tax Agency (R.I.T.A.) will begin collecting the municipal income tax for Cleveland Heights.
R.I.T.A., a non-profit governmental agency, is the largest municipal income tax collection agency in Ohio, and was chosen by the city for economic reasons.
As Susanna Niermann O’Neil, assistant city manager, says, “The reason for this switch is all about cost savings, which are substantial.”
According to City Finance Director Thomas Malone, the cost for collecting income taxes in 2010 was $1,216,000, resulting in additional revenues of more than $20 million.
The budgeted amount for tax collection in 2011 is $1,114,000. But in 2012, with R.I.T.A. providing the collection functions, the cost to the City is projected to be $621,000, a savings of $493,000 over 2011.
The city eliminated 12 jobs with the closing of its income tax collection department. Some of these individuals have been hired by the Cleveland Heights to work in other departments. Others are either retiring or seeking to secure new employment elsewhere.
While this tax collection switch will result in a major change in the finances of the city, there will be virtually no change for residents. All tax payments and tax forms will be sent to R.I.T.A instead of Cleveland Heights.
In addition, everyone is encouraged to use R.I.T.A.’s electronic filing and payment system, which will be available for use beginning Sept. 15.
R.I.T.A. also has an office at where walk-in assistance is available. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.