Lockport to vote on audit of utility tax receipts - The Buffalo News

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Lockport to vote on audit of utility tax receipts

LOCKPORT – The Common Council is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to hire a company to audit the city’s utility’s tax receipts.

The aldermen will consider a proposal from Computel Consultants of Earlville to check to make sure the utilities – Verizon, Time Warner Cable and New York State Electric & Gas Corp. – are fully paying the 1 percent tax on their gross sales within city limits.

The city budgeted $250,000 for the utility tax in 2013 but received only $182,000. For 2014, the anticipated revenue from the tax was reduced to $180,000.

Council President Anne E. McCaffrey said last week that Computel is affiliated with the New York State Conference of Mayors.

If Computel does find any uncollected revenue, the firm’s proposal is to keep 40 percent of it as a commission, leaving the city with 60 percent.

Alderman Patrick W. Schrader, D-4th Ward, said the city should try to negotiate that fee downward.

The Council also may vote on a request from Alderman John Lombardi III, R-1st Ward, to authorize a fundraiser for repairs and maintenance to the skate park on the edge of Outwater Park.

Lombardi said the not-for-profit Lockport Community Services Group, of which he is chairman, needs to spend $3,000 to $4,000 this year on board replacement and painting for the ramps. He said it will probably need to spend at least that much each year.

The skateboard facility was built in 2006 in response to complaints from skaters that there was no place in the city to use skateboards legally. The facility’s original cost was $55,000, covered by grants from the state and the Grigg-Lewis Foundation.

“It’s probably one of the most highly trafficked parks,” Lombardi said.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker complimented Lockport Community Services for sticking with the park since its inception.

“A lot of times, people do stuff and walk away,” Tucker observed.

Lockport Community Services is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt agency, which means contributions to it are tax-deductible.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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