R. Boone

Richard Boone, an expert in government revenue solutions, spoke to Rowan Fiscal Court last week about options they can pursue to better collect occupational taxes. (Photo by Brad Stacy)

Rowan County Fiscal Court is looking at options to help gain more revenue through the more efficient collection of occupational taxes.

For years, the Court has been in discussion regarding their belief that there are some working in the county who aren’t contributing their fair share of taxes, according to Magistrates Ray White and Darrell Glover.

Occupation tax is a levy imposed for the privilege of carrying on a business, trade, or profession. It’s in a form of a receipts tax, levied on the retailer rather than on the purchaser.

According to the court, those evading the tax could range from those coming into the community periodically to construct capital projects, or could even be those working from their home.

“It’s not fair to everyone else to have to pay these taxes when others do not,” said White during the group’s regularly scheduled meeting last Tuesday morning. “We’ve discussed this for years and we have to do something about it.”

The court asked Richard Boone, client services manager with Muniservices, an expert in government revenue solutions, to address possible answers to the problem.

Boone said he and his company could be contracted to the county to help track down those operating without the proper licenses to help gather the addition revenue.

He said the group would utilize current databases and pay for additional information databases that would help locate those tax evaders.

Boone said his group has had major successes in nearby states, but is just now tapping into the Kentucky market.

Although there are a few contractual issues that county attorney Cecil Watkins said he would like to look into further, there is no initial cost to utilize the service.

Boone said the group would take 40 percent of all revenue collected as payment, from the current year to as far back as possible. The county would receive all revenue from the tax evading business/person in future years.

“A lot of the time this is an education issue,” Boone said. “Usually if we can find someone who isn’t paying, we will reach out to them and let them know what the issue is. They typically respond well and quickly.”

For those who still attempt to avoid the tax, the issue would be sent to Watkins’ desk, suing the business or person for their evasion.

“We have to do something and this will be at no cost to us,” White said. “Any money they are able to find is more than what we are getting now.”

The group did not formally make an agreement to utilize Boone and his services. More discussion is expected at next month’s meeting.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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