News and Tribune

Floyd County

July 20, 2013

Greenville likely received incorrect tax payment

Floyd County auditor says it’s another ‘inherited issue’

FLOYD COUNTY — Whether it’s overpayments or a shortages, Floyd County Auditor Scott Clark said his office will rectify issues with excise payments for local taxing districts likely in December.

On Tuesday, a member of the public told the Floyd County Commissioners that he recently attended a Greenville Town Council meeting where it was announced the township had received an overpayment of $40,000 of tax revenue. Clark said Friday his office is working to clarify the issue, but that actually Greenville might have been shorted its allotment when the county sent the town its June property tax installment.

“It’s just another inherited issue,” said Clark, who took over as auditor in May for Darin Coddington, who stepped down after citing personal reasons for his departure.

The auditor’s office distributes property tax installments to taxing districts in the county in June and December. Though they are referred to as property tax installments, the payouts also include motor vehicle excise levies.

According to Clark, districts were reclassified in the county’s excise tax software system about two years ago, and the payment issue with Greenville revolves around excise disbursements.

“I don’t think that was done correctly two years ago,” Clark said of the reclassification of the districts in the software program.

The auditor’s office is working with the software company to determine what the correct figures are, he continued.

“Once we reconcile that and get the right numbers, we’re going to do adjustments to all the districts that were” affected, Clark said.

Once the software company has reviewed the system, it will be clear if any other districts were shorted or overpaid in their recent excise tax installments, he continued.

“There may be adjustments for some other townships — we just need to finish reconciling it to make sure,” Clark said.

Greenville Town Council President Talbotte Richardson said Friday he’s also awaiting clarification on the issue. He confirmed that Greenville Clerk-Treasurer Jack Travillian told the council this month that the state had sent an overpayment of $40,000, but Richardson was unclear as to whether that was an excise payment.

While the state collects excise fees through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the money is sent to counties to disperse to local taxing districts.

Richardson said “anybody can make a mistake sometimes,” but referred questions about specific details of the payment issue to Travillian.

Attempts to reach Travillian for comment Friday afternoon were unsuccessful as of press time.

Clark took over for Coddington after the former auditor fell under scrutiny when county officials said they received inaccurate financial information from his office when preparing the 2013 budget. The county faced a $2.4 million deficit this year and implemented salary and hiring freezes while leaders asked department heads to cut spending.

Clark said the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance did inform him this week that Floyd County’s 2013 budget has been certified.

 

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