DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As thousands rush to pay their taxes before Tuesday’s deadline, 2 NEWS found that those who don’t pay are costing one city millions of dollars.
Dayton estimates that of the roughly $100 million it collects each year in income taxes, about 1 to 2 percent of that amount isn’t paid on time.
That means $1 to $2 million a year the city has to track down or lose out on.
“We could use these to fix our roads and have additional police,” says Bejoy John, Deputy Director of Finance.
To get some of those unpaid taxes the city contracts with Cleveland’s Central Collection Agency.
The agency is able to access federal tax data that by law Dayton isn’t allowed to obtain.
“We give our database to CCA and they compare it to those people who have filed with the IRS but not the city of Dayton,” John says.
We called the agency to ask about its numbers.
In 2012 the agency collected $251,967 for Dayton.
It also collected $30,488 in unpaid taxes for Troy and $38,707 for Trotwood.
The agency charges cities 2 to 5 percent of what it collects.
We wanted to know if it’s worth the cost.
“Absolutely it is worth it,” John says. “If they don’t collect that amount for us that’s the less money we have in our coffers.”
Even with its collection efforts, we found over the last five years the city still has about $2.4 million in uncollected taxes.
“We depend on those taxes for the general improvement and the safety and security of our residents,” John says.
Dayton will have extended hours Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to give residents a chance to pay before the deadline.