Westfield’s tax revenue goes to Carmel instead

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WESTFIELD – It’s become a frustrating battle at the border of Carmel and Westfield. Revenue from the food tax in Westfield isn’t going to them when it should be. Now, it’s starting to cost Westfield tens of thousands of dollars.

“We have noticed a $20,000 discrepancy this year,” said Todd Burtron, chief of staff in Westfield.

That’s a lot of money going to nearby Carmel, even though the restaurants that took in the revenue are in Westfield.

“It’s an identity crisis of sorts because there are many people who live in Westfield but have a Carmel zip code,” said Burtron.

Therein lies the problem—zip codes.

Even though Westfield is its own locale, it shares zip codes with Carmel, Noblesville and Sheridan. Burtron says the software that the state uses to divvy out the tax revenue is older, and doesn’t recognize the boundaries. So, every year, Westfield has to go to the state to recoup the money.

“Because we know the problem exists, we pay attention to it. So, we’ve never really lost any money, it’s just a matter of cash flow, that when we point it out, then they reconcile the books,” said Burtron.

It’s time consuming, and even a little bit annoying, but it’s something they’ll just have to live with until something changes.

Burtron is hoping for the addition of some new technology that would alleviate the problem–possibly some new accounting software. Even the mayor has gone as far as Washington D.C. to lobby for a redraft of the postal boundaries.