Saturday, July 29, 2000

New tax officer position gets OK

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Campbell County commissioners took another step toward more complete and aggressive tax collection Friday by authorizing the creation of a second tax compliance officer position.

        County officials began a campaign to fill the holes in the tax collection process when Campbell County Fiscal Court members realized last year that there was a potential deficit in the budget.

        “We realized that we needed two people to focus on this area,” County Coordinator Howard “Mac” McMillan said Friday after the fiscal court meeting. “One of the reasons we were behind in our tax program in the past was because we didn't have enough people working on it.”

        The new tax compliance officer will hold a position on equal ground with the present compliance officer, Joyce Wicklund. But the duties will be somewhat different.

        “What we visualize is (Ms. Wicklund) continuing in her role in the office, while the new person would take more of a lead, go out in the community and meet with people,” Mr. McMillan said.

        The county will also begin shortly to handle tax collection for the city of Fort Thomas, another reason the county needs a second tax compliance officer to oversee collection efforts.

        “Fort Thomas will come on line soon, and we expect to have other cities join in the future,” Mr. McMillan said.

        Campbell County is following the lead of Kenton County, which collects taxes and license fees for all the cities except Covington. The Kenton program has been in effect for several years.

        Campbell County has been more aggressive in its tax collection methods in 2000, with stiffer fines and the possibility of jail time for nonpayment of business and occupation license fees.

        Fiscal court approved changes in the code covering requirements for license fees in January, calling for fines of $250 for each day of noncompliance and, as a last resort, the threat of jail time if a criminal charge is filed by the county attorney's office.


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