Ross tables agreement with tax collection company

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Ross commissioners Monday tabled an agreement with e-Collect PLUS, LLC, after some commissioners and business owners expressed concerns that a private company would be too aggressive in collecting unpaid business taxes.

“Their business model is to make money. If they don't collect, they don't make money,” said Craig Linner, representing Ross Economic Development. “There is the potential of overly aggressive and insensitive collection methods.”

Hiring e-Collect was recommended last month by Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer, who said a private company would do a better job in collecting business privilege and mercantile taxes than the North Hills School District, the current collector of those taxes.

“They’ve done a really bad job of collecting it,” Mr. Shaffer said. “I’m willing to wait and see how the school board does, but so far I’m not impressed.”

Commissioner Steve Korbel said the school district charges a 3 percent commission, which is then used for education. Private companies charge a much higher commission, between 15 percent and 25 percent.

He said the school district increased its collection of business privilege taxes by 500 percent and mercantile taxes by 400 percent.

“I’m comfortable staying with them until there is an identifiable issue,” he said.

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer:

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