Money maker

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Commissioners agreed to a contract they hope will help them save money.

The board unanimously approved a contract with Robert S. Segal, a Certified Public Accountant firm which will work with the county to find ways to generate additional revenue in the coming years.

“What he does is work with counties and municipalities to see if you are claiming everything you can claim from the state, like sales tax and those types of things,” Bertie County Manager Morris Rascoe said. “He does not look at personnel. He just looks at things you can claim as revenue.

“If he finds something you are not already claiming, he gets 50 percent of whatever he finds for you for the first two years,” Rascoe continued. “After that two year period is over with, the county would get 100 percent.”

Rascoe said if the company did not find anything, they would not receive any funds from the county.

“Would he look, for example, at the water department to determine if revenues were coming in adequately,” Commissioner Rick Harrell inquired.

Rascoe said he didn’t think the company would look at the individual consumers, but if there was revenue that could be claimed by the water department from the state which had not been, that would be found.

Commission Chairman L.C. Hoggard III said, “It sounds like a winner to me.”

Harrell asked if other counties and towns were using the firm and Rascoe said there were other local government entities that had used the service.

Commission Vice Chairman J. Wallace Perry listed several counties and towns that had worked with Segal, including Chowan County, Halifax County, Perquimans County and the town of Eden.

Rascoe said he had also spoken with Martin County Manager David Bone, who had used Segal’s services at a previous job and said he was pleased with them.

“It’s not costing us anything up front,” Harrell asked.

Rascoe said that was correct.

“So they get 50 percent of any revenues they find for the first two years and then we get 100 percent to the county,” Harrell confirmed.

Rascoe said Segal would make a report to the board and they would approve seeking the revenues and then Segal would be paid the 50 percent.

“Does anyone know any reason we wouldn’t do this,” Harrell asked.

The board members said they were pleased with the prospect.

Harrell made a motion to accept the contract with Commissioner Charles L. Smith offering a second before it was adopted by a 5-0 vote.

The approved contract calls for Segal to look at a variety of areas, including banking services, cellular phones, copy services, discovery of unlicensed businesses, electricity, gasoline and diesel, utility franchise tax, NC sales and use tax, additional property tax and vehicle tax revenues, telecommunications services, solid waste, unbilled water customers and water chemicals.