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Treasure trove of taxes unearthed

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

The county’s sales tax tally is getting a boost to the tune of about $10,000 per month, thanks to the unearthing of a tax registration error.

County Commissioner of the Revenue Trina Rupe recently discovered over $63,000 in sale taxes collected by BAE Systems (formerly Radford Arsenal) should have been paid to Pulaski County instead of Radford City, Treasurer Melinda Worrell said.

She explained that a percentage of sales taxes collected by businesses go to the locality in which the business is located. BAE’s property is in Pulaski and Montgomery counties, but it has a Radford address and zip code, thus creating the confusion that led to the error.

“If the business registers in the wrong locality, (the sales tax payments) go to the wrong place,” said Worrell. “This isn’t the first time it’s happened in that (Fairlawn) area. It happened with Lowes, too.”

When BAE took over operation of the arsenal “they (the state tax department) saw Radford and started sending money to Radford City,” she said. As a result, the city now owes Pulaski County just over $63,000 and Montgomery County a similar amount.

However, Worrell cautioned against any suggestion Radford City was knowingly receiving payments it wasn’t due.

“It’s hard to track these things,” she said. “We receive pages and pages and pages of lists.”

Radford is paying Pulaski County in six monthly installments of just over $10,000. Future sales taxes from BAE will be paid to Pulaski and Montgomery counties.

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