Source: Newspaper-June 30, 2007
Price has stated several times: the city offers one of the area's most generous take-home car policies, with taxpayers covering the gas cost of many city-issued cars used for commutes far outside city limits.
City leaders told Price they have no plans to change that!
Is Councilman Price right or wrong?
City owned vehicles were furnished to 11 employees to be used for City business and for driving to and from work. The vehicles used were not considered "qualified non-personal use vehicles" as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The use of these vehicles to commute to and from work is considered personal use and is a taxable fringe benefit. During 2007, this fringe benefit was calculated using the Internal Revenue Service "commuter rule" and included as additional compensation on 10 of the employees' W-2's. The city did not calculate and report this taxable fringe benefit for 1 "control employee' as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Source: 2007 State Board of Accounts ~2007 Audit of the City of New Albany
Does anyone remember the $10,000 Parks Department cell phone bill in June of 2007?
Look what the 2007 Audit reports:
City owned cell phones were furnished to 68 employees to be used for City business.
The City does not have a written policy concerning the personal use of city-owned cell phones and records are not maintained that distinguishes between business use and personal use.
Personal use of City owned cell phones is considerate a taxable fringe benefit and is to be reported on the employee's W-2's.
Source: State Board of Accounts ~ 2007 Audit of the City of New Albany
Charlie Pride of Indiana State Board of Accounts stated to Freedom of Speech: whenever an item or other asset owned by the political subdivision is entrusted to an officer or employee, to be used at times outside the normal work time for business purposes, such as cellular phones, or vehicle, a log should be maintained which clearly shows the business use.
Pride also said: Each governmental unit is responsible for compliance with all rules, regulations, guidelines and directives of the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Revenue. All questions concerning taxes should be address by the following agencies.
As gas prices continue to go up it's more important to keep our police cars inside city limits.
According to the 2007 Audit Report, records are still not being kept on take home cars and cell phones.
Councilman Price has been calling for a review of the cost of take home cars. Councilman Price has also been trying for two years to set up a city policy on take home cars.
Some cities in Indiana are now eliminating all employee take home cars and police cars.
Freedom Of Speech would like to say:
If we have to pay for gas to go to the mall and grocery, they should pay their own way like taxpayers.
If you work for the city you should live in the city. Let all employees pay for their own gas, cars and insurance.
Maybe Crabtree and England should look at less spending in the City and our Police Department such as the big salaries and perks.
We find it appalling and an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars for New Albany police officers and City employees to use cell phones and city owned vehicles for this purpose, especially considering the salary of some of these individuals.
Right...Deputy Mayor Malysz?
The chief of police and the Mayor should be ashamed and have a better excuse than " we don't need a policy."
After all it should be up to the taxpayers not the chief of police or Mayor to authorize such a waste of our money.
Take your own cell phone and car to work like all the rest of us hard working taxpayers have too.
The free ride has to end...we taxpayers can't afford it anymore."Councilman Price was RIGHT again!
Since Mayor England wants a walking city, let's park the cars and put all city employees on bicyles or golf carts. Think of the gas dollars you would be saving the taxpayers!