Letter: Town should go after back taxes

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letters_flatTo the editor,

I am following up on a question that I asked at the Beacon Falls budget meeting on May 22, 2013 that surprisingly no one knew the answer to. How much is owed to our town for past due taxes for both real estate property and vehicle taxes? I deem this public information and I believe the numbers should be published.

We are looking at another tax increase. At the meeting I submitted newspaper articles to the board documenting the success that one city had collecting back vehicle taxes. They hired a private company to put “boots” on wheels rendering vehicles undriveable until past balances were paid. Dollars started rolling in at a rapid pace. Why don’t we do this?

My point is that for every dollar that is not collected, timely payers are penalized by having to contribute more than our required amount. We need to cover the budget total that is necessary to run our town. Why do we have to pay more taxes when past due amounts are not being aggressively pursued?

Collectively, we have to come up with $6,000,000 every year for our town budget. Beacon Falls needs to treat this as a business rather than a small neighborhood store. It also might be time to come up with a better system to collect delinquent real estate taxes.

Lastly, I will add that I am an independent voter and I am not blaming the present regime for this backlog of taxes. Obviously, it took years to accumulate the total dollar amount. But now that this is owed…what is being done to collect it?

Thank you,

Joe Pavlik

Beacon Falls