Parish school system sticks with tax collector

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – The St. John School Board’s finance committee has recommended continuing its working relationship with Assured Compliance Inc., which has been collecting sales tax for the parish since 2004.

Under the current contract, which expires June 30, ACI receives 2 percent of regular tax collections, plus any additional fees for revenue generated from audits and delinquent taxes, said Felix Boughton, the school system’s finance director.

In the past two years, ACI has been paid over $1.7 million but their new contract proposal would lower their collection percentage from a fixed 2 percent to a flexible amount that includes a cap.

The new three-year proposal would net ACI a maximum fee of $720,000 or 1.64 percent of taxes collected for the first year – whichever is lowest. The second year the cap would increase to $745,200 or 1.55 percent of collections, and in the third year, to $771,282, or 1.55 percent.

The contract includes a minimum annual fee for ACI that increases each year of the contract: $604,500 in the first year, $625,658 for the second year and $647,556 during the final year.

Boughton said that these minimums should be no problem to meet if sales collections meet expectations as they have recently.

ACI was recommended for the contract over Revenue Discovery Systems, a national tax collection company, whose proposal included no cap. This was one of the main factors in going with ACI over RDS, according to Boughton.

&#8220The cap was important and ACI has been doing business with the parish for the past couple years and we have a good relationship with them.” Boughton said.

The School Board also has the option to renegotiate the contract if sales tax collections fall one third below the 2006-07 collections.