Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

January 15, 2013

Mayor, commissioners support Culver bill

Legislation involve income tax monies

GOSHEN — Elkhart County Commissioners Monday pledged to support a locally-sponsored legislative bill, that if approved, could cause significantly more Local Option Income Tax revenue being returned to county and city coffers.

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman went before the commissioners Monday to seek written support for the bill, which is being sponsored by Indiana State Rep. Wes Culver, R-Elkhart County, at the request of Kauffman.

According to Kauffman, the bill, which has yet to be named, focuses specifically on the tracking, collection and distribution of LOIT. Indiana first allowed local governments to use income taxes in 1974. Since then, many new local income tax options have been authorized, such as the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT), County Option Income Tax (COIT) and County Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT).

“I served on a state committee with the auditor of Allen County, Tera Klutz,” Kauffman said. “We were assigned to look at all taxes that the state collects and distributes because of the snafu that happened in the last couple of years with distributions.

“So we tracked all of the hoops that all of these revenues go through after collection and before distribution, and the most troubling for Tera and I was LOIT. That was the first one we discussed — and these meetings went on for six months — and the last one we discussed, because it seemed to be the most difficult to work with.”

At the committee’s first meeting, Kauffman said he asked the head of the Indiana Department of Revenue if they keep track of the information employers send, including where their employees live, the counties they live in, how much of the withholdings are from each county, etc.

“I thought the answer was going to be yes, and the answer was no,” Kauffman said. “It’s all lumped in with state income tax, and just dumped into the general fund, and then when people file their individual tax returns, then they know what counties to send it back to.”

The major problem with that, Kauffman said, is that there are some counties, including Elkhart County, that tend to have a higher proportion of workers who do not file tax returns for whatever reason.

Kauffman learned that there is no way — due to resources, software and other issues — that counties can get the tax money back if residents do not file income tax returns. The money cannot be tracked back under the current system, he said.

“So, everybody in the room, to their credit, said this is a problem,” Kauffman said. “If a dollar comes down from Elkhart County it ought to go back to Elkhart County — but they didn’t know how to fix it. So the report that comes out of the committee is that we know this is a problem, and with the current resources we have, we cannot fix it. That’s basically it.”

In light of those findings, Kauffman said that Culver and several other state legislators have come forward with bills designed to try and fix the funding distribution issue.

“Wes Culver’s bill is one of a few different bills that have been filed,” Kauffman said. “But his bill basically says that the state has to track where the money’s coming from, and it has to distribute the unreconciled cash. If they’re going to continue to work off of individual tax returns, when they figure out how much of this pot of money is unreconciled, they send that back too. So that’s the essence of the bill.”

Following Kauffman’s report, Commissioner Terry Rodino pledged his support to the bill, adding he would have no problem writing a letter of support for the bill that could be used by Culver to help push the bill forward. Commissioners Mike Yoder and Frank Lucchese were quick to agree.

“I have no problem with supporting that,” Rodino said, noting that he also felt it might be good to get a similar letter of support from the Elkhart County Council, to which Kauffman agreed.

“This should be a no-brainer for the council,” Kauffman said.

Tax Sale

In other action, the commissioners approved a resolution setting up a public auction in March for the sale of tax sale certificates for several properties in the county that are delinquent in payment of property taxes.

According to County Attorney R. Gordon Lord, the 14 properties in question are those that have already been offered for tax sale on one or more occasions but have received no bids equal to or in excess of the minimum sales price required by law. Due to this issue, Lord noted that the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners has agreed to sell the properties at auction at a significantly reduced price in an attempt to get the properties back on the tax rolls.

The date for the public auction has currently been set for 10 a.m. March 4.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140719 obit mcdaniel Jeanine M. McDaniel OSCEOLA — Jeanine M. McDaniel, 61, died Thursday afternoon at Elkhart Hospice House. She was born Feb. 16, 1953 in Noble County, to Everett and Nyra Lucille (Reynolds) McDaniel. Surviving are two sisters, Patty (William) Wray, Paducah, Ky. and Bever

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140718 Rosalie Bontrager senior fair queen.jpg Bontrager wins senior queen title

    Rosalie Bontrager was crowned senior fair queen at the grandstand at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Friday morning, July 18, 2014.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results