Friday, July 25, 2014

Thanks to tax mess, Kingston starts with $52,000 negative balance

February 20. 2013 1:09AM
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KINGSTON -- Most of the discussion at Monday's Kingston municipal council meeting centered on the 2012 implosion of the county's tax collector, Centax.

Municipal Administrator Paul Keating acknowledged Kingston will begin 2013 with a roughly $52,000 negative balance in its municipal general fund but sought to compare it to the money that it is still owed from the now defunct tax collector.

Keating estimated the municipality is still owed approximately $158,348 in combined local services, earned income, mercantile and real estate taxes.

When the $73,000 in earned income tax is adjusted for even slight wage inflation, that figure could grow to $220,348.

Keating expects to receive that money within the next several months and noted that Kingston is capable of maintaining its services and paying its employees until the owed funds are obtained.

The Berkheimer Tax Agency has assumed the disbursement responsibilities from Centax. Keating said Berkheimer has beefed up its staff and has done a remarkable job of not only distributing tax revenue but also keeping open clear lines of communication.

Keating was pessimistic when Councilman Jack Schumacher asked when some final resolution of Centax debacle might be in sight.

It appears that Centax was extremely mismanaged, Keating said. It is hard to comprehend just how disorganized everything was.

In other matters, Keating praised the work of the municipality's Special Investigation Unit, noting its officers and detectives seized and/or obtained an estimated $25,000 in street value of marijuana, cocaine and heroin, as well as 10 guns.

The illegal items will be turned over to the state, but the county District Attorney's Office will distribute a portion of that value back to the police department for police services.

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