Letter: Candidates should be current on their taxes

To the editor,

Any individual running for any elected position should have their taxes paid up as a responsible member of the town and out of respect to the taxpayers for whom they work.

According to the tax collector’s website, Selectman Peter Betkoski, who is running for re-election in Beacon Falls, owes the town approximately $19,000 in back taxes for his personal business, Betkoski Bros., LLC, also located in the town.

I also contacted the Secretary of the State’s office, who noted that Betkoski’s business (Business ID: 0860237) has not filed its annual report for the last five years. Now owing $100 in fees to the State of Connecticut for these missed reports, he is yet further in the hole with debt.

But getting caught up may be more difficult for Betkoski than you would think. A quick internet search shows that Betkoski is also subject to several civil and small claims lawsuits. With legal fees and possibly financial compensation owed to others looming in the future, this ensures the town will have to continue to wait for its money.

Rather than just complaining, I suggest three options to Peter Betkoski:

While the Selectman position pays $12,000 per year, have the town hold 100 percent of your salary to pay your back taxes before taking any money home.

Pay your taxes by election time, and provide the voters proof you done have so.

Drop out of the race completely and don’t run again until you have your taxes paid up.

While it may seem common sense, there is no state law in place requiring locally elected officials to be current with taxes. Please contact our state Sen. George Logan or state Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria to propose a law be put in place mandating any individuals who seek an elected office position to be current with their taxes, personal and business, in order to run for office.

Elected officials should be leading by example which includes paying their taxes on time. After all, how can we expect them to use our tax money appropriately when they don’t contribute?

Shawn Styfco

Beacon Falls