The Town of Miami and the City of Globe finalized an inter-governmental agreement last week at the Globe city council meeting, laying out a plan to settle a tax debt Miami did not even realize it had run up over the course of four years.
Globe City Manager Paul Jepson and Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly have been working together for several weeks in order to work out a deal for Miami to pay off $268,784.04 it received from the state in error.
Although the state wanted to stop tax disbursements to the town to the west, despite the consequences of such an action, the two municipalities came together with an acceptable solution.
Beginning in April, Miami will pay $2,000 and in September it goes to $8,000 until the debt is retired, according to Heatherly. Four percent interest adds six months to the payment, taking the total to $288,263.72 for roughly three years until July 2021.
The money will go into a special fund until the entire amount is received, Jepson said at the March 25 meeting where the deal was finalized.
Globe Councilmember Charlene Giles was opposed to charging interest, as the use of funds for the Town of Miami was unintentional.
“They weren’t knowingly using our money,” Giles said. “They’re over a barrel.”
But both Jepson and Heatherly agreed it was the thing to do under the circumstances.
“I appreciate your consideration, but this puts the onus on us,” Heatherly said. “Miami owes and can’t afford to pay it all at once, but I think it’s fair. Paul has worked with us from the very start. It’s a business decision.”
In the end, the deal was unanimously approved by both councils.