In early 2012, Augusta faced a dilemma. It had constructed a $15 million parking deck that it did not own. Local activists with the Augusta Today facebook group and CityStink.net had alerted the media when their research of real estate titles at the Clerk of Court’s office showed that the land was not owned by the city.
Cost recovery analyst Al Gray and Brad Owens took over the commission chambers to address the crowd and insist upon rights of audit, in what was seen as a one-sided contract.
Augusta’s Sales and Use Tax-funded project management firm was up for contract renewal. After behind-the-scenes support of the commissioners, the contractor reduced the contract price by about $184,000.
How a multidisciplinary review of an already-negotiated sales and use tax exemption package, including analysis of equipment purchase orders and contracts, produced $millions in additional savings.
This effort required study of the technical data and vendor operating manuals, knowledge of sales tax exemptions and application in a “direct-use” state, understanding of how tax codes were input to produce tax accrual reports, and taking the initiative to appeal that which had already been established.
Complex blanket purchase orders may provide savings or even cost recovery possibilities.
This Cost Recovery worked when the civil engineers had gone snoozing.