$81K in long-term unpaid taxes turned over to collection agency
Published 4:26 pm, Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Board of Finance has approved moving $81,991 in uncollectable taxes to the so-called "suspense" list.
"These are predominantly motor vehicle accounts," Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller said Tuesday of the long-unpaid taxes. He added that even though the town will no longer mail bills for these tax accounts, the delinquent taxpayers will be pursued by a collection agency.
There are also 213 real estate tax accounts being put on the suspense list, although Tax Collector Cinda Buchter said that is not usually done.
Those owed amounts are small -- totaling only $49.70 -- some dating back to 2001. The delinquent taxes in some cases are just 2 cents.
Buchter said because of the installment plan offered by the town, the tax bill doesn't always divide equally into four payments, in the case of real estate, or two payments, in the case of motor vehicle taxes. "Many people write a check in the same amount as they wrote previously," Buchter said, meaning that an annual payment may end up short by a very small amount. "My proposal is to put these small amounts in suspense so they won't go out as a delinquent notice," she said.
A glitch in new software being installed in the Tax Collector's office this week led to residents receiving bills for back taxes under $2. Those bills can be ignored, officials said.
The bulk of the accounts being moved to the suspense list that don't fall into the under $2 category are from the 2005 grand list and include 1,119 motor vehicle accounts totaling $69,165; 147 motor vehicle supplemental accounts that add up to $10,401 and 39 personal property accounts totaling $1,537.
The new software will now show all tax accounts due when a resident's name is entered, Hiller said. "Now, once you put in a name it all pops up -- real estate, motor vehicle, personal property and sewer-use taxes."
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