Tax program adds space in?City?Hall

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council unanimously voted in favor of allowing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to use the employee lounge in City Hall on Saturdays starting in January.

The council voted Tuesday after 6th?Ward Supervisor Richard Ottalagano urged it to provide the space.

“Several years ago I was the person who brought the VITA program to this area,” Ottalagano said. “Since then we have brought millions of dollars in tax returns for people who probably wouldn’t even file their returns and they are on our low income level.”

According to the IRS website, the VITA program offers free tax help to people who make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. The IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities.

Ottalagano said while some places – such as the senior center – have provided space for the program on Saturdays, many of the places no longer can provide room for the VITA program.

“Over the years, things have kind of regressed,” Ottalagano told the council.

According to Ottalagano, the IRS contacted him asking if another site was available for Saturdays, which led to his inquiry about using space in City Hall.

Ottalagano said Fulmont Community Action Agency provides the VITA services Mondays through Fridays by appointment at several locations.

Site Manager Andrea Hauser will be responsible for the new City Hall location on Saturdays. She expects the location to be available Jan. 14 to April 12 and will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment.

“It will address the low income and the elderly,” Hauser said. “The Saturday site is very important because [some] people can’t come in during the week.”

She said the IRS provides the material needed and no charge is put on any of the taxpayers that use the service.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” said 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski.

Hauser said she is certified to do tax returns and has a degree in accounting. She said people seeking to use the VITA program can call her at 883-3682 to set up an appointment.