XENIA — For Fran Hageman, it’s a labor of love.
A retired office manager, Hageman is one of more than half a dozen volunteers who gather at the Xenia Community Library each year to offer a free service that helps thousands of local residents – volunteers from all backgrounds, from engineers to finance professionals and more.
“Most of us are retired,” Hageman said. “The one thing we all have in common: We all enjoy doing taxes.”
Asked why she specifically does it, Hageman said “we know there is a great need in the community for this service.
“We want the government to get what they deserve – and for the resident to get what they deserve.”
And that … they do.
Library spokesman Ryan Ireland said this 30-year-old service, in partnership with the Volunteer Income Tax Association, helps more than 3,000 local residents get their taxes done before the April 18th Federal deadline.
In total, more than $3 million in refunds and about $1 million in earned income credit is returned to those residents and, subsequently, the local economy.
“This is one of my favorite things to advertise because it really is a lifesaver for a lot of people in the community,” Ireland said. “It helps out the local economy as well.”
Michelle Atkinson of Xenia is one of those residents the service helps. She’s been going to the library to have her taxes done for nearly seven years. And although she didn’t make it in time to get her taxes done Monday during her lunch break, she said she will be back.
“This is awesome,” Atkinson said. “There’s usually not a long wait. Normally I get here before the doors open. I’m in and out in an hour or so. It’s very convenient … it’s such a nice benefit for the community.
“I’ll definitely be back here at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.”
Although the service typically tries to cater to people earning less than $55,000 per year, Ireland said they “don’t turn anyone away.”
“The volunteers are so good,” he said. “They’re so helpful, patient and knowledgeable… We (the library staff) enjoy seeing them here. At the end of the three or four months we are sad to see them go.”
Xenia Community Library
*Tax Services are available through April 17.
10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays
Beavercreek Community Library
*Services available select days and by appointment. Call 937-352-4001, Opt. 3. Registration begins Feb. 11.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4
Brian Evans is a freelance writer for Greene County News.