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04-18-05 Rockford counting on school contractors to pay

By Timothy Cox

  ROCKFORD -- Village officials are cautiously optimistic they will collect all the income taxes due from contractors and subcontractors working at the site of the new Parkway Local School.
Construction is moving ahead at the new Parkway Local Schools K-12 building in Rockford. Village officials are working to ensure the town's 1 percent income tax is collected from the numerous contractors working at the site. The new school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006.<br>
  Tax Administrator Herb Muhlenkamp is taking extra effort to ensure the 47 companies with some job to do at the site properly withhold the town's 1 percent income tax from workers' paychecks and remit the taxes due quarterly.
  Concerns have been raised by some village officials that the extra tax money seems to be trickling in slowly, even though the Parkway building seems to be moving along quickly. Village officials expect to bring in about $160,000 from the $16 million in labor costs on the project. The town cannot collect taxes on engineering and design fees or on the purchase of materials for the school.
  The $160,000 is important to village officials, because the town paid about $195,000 for a sewer line extension to the school site off state Route 118 on the south edge of town. The tax money is necessary to recoup that investment. Village officials also have discussed the necessity of installing sidewalks to the new school before it opens in the fall of 2006.
  Exact figures were unavailable this morning, but based on a mid-March update, the village had generated less than one-fourth of the expected tax revenue. Clerk-Treasurer Amy Lyons said then she was optimistic more receipts would be generated this month as companies make payments on the recently completed first quarter.  "We're confident it will be there in the end," Long said of the additional revenue.
  Long, who also serves on the Parkway school board, said he plans to turn a list of contractors and subcontractors over to Muhlenkamp today. Additionally, an ordinance passed a couple of years ago that requires contractors working inside the village to register annually will help track the issue, he said.


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