Thursday, September 5, 2013

Truth Reports Elkhart Area Leaders Ask Lawmakers to Invest in Better Accounting System

From the Elkhart Truth:

As Elkhart County and city leaders prepare their 2014 budgets, many concerns weigh on their minds, but on a state level, they want to make sure lawmakers understand that accountability and accuracy is at the top of their list, especially when it comes to income taxes.

The mayors of Elkhart, Goshen and Nappanee along with Elkhart County officials met with state legislators Wednesday, Sept. 4, including Sen. Ryan Mishler and Reps. Wes Culver, Rebecca Kubacki and Tim Wesco.

Errors in the collection and distribution of local option income taxes have been a long-time issue for Elkhart County, commissioner Mike Yoder told the panel of lawmakers. Yoder pointed to more than $200 million in income tax revenues that were not accurately reported and reallocated across the state in 2010. Two years later, the Indiana Department of Revenue had to make additional distributions to counties.

“As we move funding from an emphasis on property taxes to local option income taxes, we need to have some level of confidence that all this money is coming back,” Yoder said. “Frankly, if they’re not doing a good job, the money ends up in the state general fund, so there’s not a lot of incentive for the state to actually fix the problem, except for it’s the right thing to do.”

The county and city officials asked the state lawmakers to make an investment to improve the Indiana Department of Revenue’s accounting software.