The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Simple question casts light on tax problems




By this time, I should not be surprised if a little question at a Plainfield City Council leads to a big discovery. Yet I always am.

It's like pulling at a raveled sweater only to have the sleeve fall off.

So, when Councilor Mapp made a simple inquiry at last night's Council meeting about a proposed resolution to cancel tax sale certificate #07-169, Tax Collector David Marshall's answer exposed yet another problem unattended to by the Robinson-Briggs administration.

According to Marshall, the problem arose from the fact that two adjoining lots had been merged into one by the Planning Division, but that the Tax Collector had no record of the merger.

The transaction took place before Marshall came on board this year (if the tax sale certificate is correctly numbered, it seems to have been issued in 2007).

As Marshall explained it, the property owner appeared to fall into arrears on the parcel that still showed on the Tax Collector's records, hence leading to a tax lien sale. It was that lien sale certificate that is now being proposed to be corrected.

It sounds a lot like the old vaudeville joke punch line: Does Macy's talk to Gimbels? (If you remember Gimbels, you're giving away your age!)

What this little incident shows is that the failure of consistent and coherent internal communications between City units leaves everything higgledy-piggledy.

Lest you think the resolution of this one item is a big fix, Marshall indicated offhandedly there are 'about 15 more just like it'.

I can't wait for January 1st to arrive.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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