MAYVILLE - The County Legislature's office staff could take on new duties.
The Audit and Control Committee is looking at several different scenarios for the legislature clerk's office as well as for the legislature itself for 2012.
"We're just starting discussions now," said Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, recently of the committee's work. "Nothing's been voted on yet or finalized."
In specific, Nazzaro said the committee's looking at everything from the compensation which legislators get to the different stipends paid to the lawmakers who chair committees and for travel reimbursement.
"We're looking at all of that and we have several different scenarios which we will continue to look at before making any recommendation,"Nazzaro said. "The other thing we've talked about is the possibility of the legislative office taking over the accounting and management of the occupancy tax."
The accounting and management of the county's bed tax is something currently done by the finance director's office, Nazzaro explained. That office, however, has become more and more streamlined in recent years - doing more with fewer staff members.
The county has also not had a comptroller in recent years and, as a result, Nazzaro said, there hasn't been enough auditing done of the bed tax monies collected annually.
"We're talking about having the legislature office take over those accounting and management duties, and I believe County Executive Greg Edwards is also suggesting this," Nazzaro said. "The legislature office could take over the administration of the occupancy tax and that would mean the collecting of it, the recording of it and the enforcement of it and I think one thing that has not been done as well as it could be is the enforcement of collecting the occupancy tax."
The county's 5 percent bed tax is really two taxes, a 2 percent and a 3 percent, charged by hotels, motels and inns. Technically though, the tax is supposed to be charged by any lodging where a person pays rent for less than 30 days at a time
"The feeling is that though we do collect it from hotels and motels, other lodgings should be collecting it too and turning it over to the county," Nazzaro said. "I think, not only myself but the entire committee feels that we're collecting less in occupancy tax than is due to the county."