RAMER: The tax collector who didn’t

Submitted by Jeff Ramer, Democratic member of BET

I pay my property taxes, and I’m pretty sure you will too. As a result, it saddens me to hear that our tax collector, by his negligence over the past year, has allowed nine tax accounts in Greenwich to go unrecovered for over fifteen years, and by law , these taxes are now prescribed and have become legally uncollectible by the City.

It’s all the more shocking when you remember that when Mrs Smeriglio, that Republican tax collector, ran for the post two years ago, her only campaign problem was that her Democratic predecessor was cruel and heartless to have
set up a recovery process on these same accounts. She claimed that she could and would collect all taxes without the need for such measures.

And then she didn’t. What she did instead was interrupt and withdraw the collection process. Now the taxpayer’s money is gone forever.

Because I sit as a Democratic member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, I became aware of the waiver and brought it to the attention of the full board. The Council ordered the tax collector to report. Specifically, the instruction was to report to the BET audit committee, and by a unanimous vote of that committee, the tax collector’s report was to be presented at a BET audit committee meeting in 8:30 a.m. last Friday October. 8th.

In violation of this committee vote, the Republican chairman of this committee unilaterally removed the collector’s report from the agenda of this meeting, and posted the agenda at the last moment, too late for the item to be reinstated on the agenda without the agreement of its Republican members.

Election year policy.

Also be aware that because the taxes paid apply first to the oldest tax debt, those same nine accounts also necessarily owe their unpaid taxes from fourteen years ago, and thirteen years ago, and there is twelve, etc. tax accounts with unpaid taxes from ten years or more ago.

This tax collector is eligible for re-election on November 2. You should know these facts. Heather Smeriglio is the Republican tax collector who didn’t.

Esther L. Steinbach