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City needs more info on multiple payment option
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MONROE - The Monroe Common Council is not ready to address a November referendum on a property tax multiple payment option until the Judiciary and Ordinance Review Committee can make a recommendation.

The council sent back the issue on Tuesday, saying it wants all the information reviewed by committee before it will entertain the changes to its current property tax payment method, as proposed by Alderman Michael Boyce.

Boyce requested the council consider an advisory referendum for the fall ballot, after making his proposal for a multiple payment option at the Judiciary and Ordinance Review committee on Aug. 5.

The additional option would allow for four payments, one-fourth of the tax bill due every other month between January and July. The current system permits two payments, one-half due in each January and July.

The committee had requested more information from city staff on the costs to make the change, which city Treasurer Stephanie Bachim presented at the council meeting. The committee also wanted to hear from taxpayers about their desires for another option to the payment system.

Bachim reported that the city has about 2-percent delinquency in its tax bills. The city sends out about 4,800 bills each year, she said, with many paid before Dec. 31 by taxpayers looking to include the cost in their annual federal tax returns. Possible revenue gained by taxpayers using the option could produce about $5,000, but costs could run as high as $9,000, for additional workers. The city currently pays out about $2,200 for added labor costs to cover tax payments in late December and January. The county takes care of the July payments. One-time, set-up costs to accommodate the proposed option could run as high as $5,000 to $10,000, Bachim added.