Girard exempt, but pays sales tax anyway

GIRARD — The city paid a vendor $1,259 in sales tax even though the city is exempt from such taxes, state auditors found.

A 2014 audit of the city released Thursday by State Auditor David Yost found the city issued a $19,245 check to Trumbull Industries on June 25, 2014, which included $1,259 in Ohio sales tax.

The city was not required to pay the tax because government entities are exempt from sales tax.

”This is an obvious error that should have been flagged by the city’s internal controls. The city needs to bolster its oversight of spending to prevent mistakes like this moving forward,” Yost said.

Auditors issued a $1,259 finding for recovery against Trumbull Industries. The company resolved the finding Feb. 3, 2017 by issuing the city a credit for the full amount, Girard Mayor James Melfi said.

Melfi said Thursday the incident “was an honest mistake.”

”Things like this happen. We are glad that it was caught. That is why you have audits done, to make sure everything is done correctly,” Melfi said.

He said the error was able to be rectified quickly. Melfi said having served in government as a city treasurer and as mayor, he knows mistakes like this happen.

“I have seen things like this happen over the years,” he said.