By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Kosciusko County officials are looking into a federal tax credit that could assist with COVID-related pay for county employees.
The COVID Sick Leave Policy was discussed during a brief Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Aug. 31. Commissioner Vice President Cary Groninger and County Auditor Michelle Puckett have been working together on the project.
“Our policy expired in June after we had extended it for six months and pretty much this was a policy that would allow for those people who tested positive for COVID or if they were taking care of someone at home that they could get paid for that time that they were away from work,” Groninger explained. “We found another opportunity where we may be able to get reimbursed for some of those costs so we’re looking to be able to extend those. We’re looking to reinstate those back to when the others expired, so July 1 to Sept. 30.”
Puckett said if the county qualifies for the federal tax credit to assist with COVID pay for employees, they could receive up to 90% of employee wages returned in the form of the federal tax credit.
“Our office is working on amending our quarter one and our quarter two federal tax returns to receive that reimbursement. It is rather substantial because we did have a lot of employees who utilized that time in quarter one and quarter two, so since it has been extended to Sept. 30, if you guys would like to reinstate that time to cover July 1 to Sept. 30 … that leave was extended once or twice,” Puckett said. “Of course we have no idea if that would be extended further. Everything is up in the air. Things change daily, but we will keep an eye on that to see if it does get extended past Sept. 30.”
A motion to extend the policy to cover July 1 – Sept. 30 was approved. The situation will be reassessed in late September to determine whether an additional extension is necessary.
Puckett said they are working with Human Resources to identify employees who may have utilized their own personal time to be off between the dates of July 1 to the current time.
“So if there were any employees who were out through July/August and used their own personal vacation time, comp time, sick time, once this has passed we would basically jump back in and reinstate their own personal time they used, up to the 10 days the policy allows,” Puckett said.
In other news:
- David Mann of Warsaw was honored (in advance) as the September Veteran of the Month.
- The next regular meeting will be 9 a.m. Sept. 14.