Fairborn targets residents who don’t file tax returns

Around 4,400 administrative subpoenas were recently mailed to Fairborn taxpayers who did not file a municipal income tax return for tax return years 2009-2013.

“It’s something that Fairborn has done for the last 10 to 15 years,” said Debbie Billiter, revenue manager for the city of Fairborn. “It generates a lot of money and revenue for the city.”

The city’s last subpoena program in 2011 focused on tax years 2008 and prior and generated collections of more than $300,000. Billiter said the city has already collected more than $200,000 this year and expects a total of $250,000 to $300,000.

“It is money that is owed the city anyhow; we’re just trying to collect it,” Billiter said.

One percent of that money will go to Fairborn’s general fund; one-quarter percent to police and fire, and one-quarter percent to streets.

Billiter said those receiving a subpoena were first issued a non-filing notice and given an opportunity to respond before a subpoena was issued.

“The subpoenas, I think, generate more response because people react to the word ‘subpoena’ a little bit more,” Billiter said. She added that, since the mailing, 50 to 60 people have come by her office each day. “Many people say (the paperwork) was in their packet and they forgot to send it in, forgot to drop it off.”

Taxpayers can avoid an appearance by mailing or faxing the Regional Income Tax Agency the documents listed on the subpoena. RITA provides services to collect income tax for municipalities, including Fairborn, Yellow Springs and Sugarcreek Twp., in the state of Ohio. The agency covered the cost of printing and mailing both the the non-filing notices and the subpoenas to Fairborn residents.

Residents can also bring their information to the city offices at 44 W. Hebble Ave.

Those who fail to comply will be issued a notice of proposed assessment, informing them of the city’s intent to assess additional tax or penalties. “If they don’t protest it then it goes to the final assessment stage and that becomes permanent against their account,” Billiter said.

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