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Tax Collection Gets “Aggressive” in North Branford

At the most recent North Branford Town Council meeting, marshals got the go-ahead to be more aggressive in their collections.

While much of the June 18 North Branford Town Council meeting on after the town and former Town Manager made an “,” there was still a lengthy discussion regarding the town’s suspense list and what tactics should be used to collect taxes owed to the town.

At the , members of the Town Council asked Town Finance Director to prepare the entire suspense list after he had presented the most recent list. Some Council members expressed concern that significant efforts were not being made to collect the monies due to the town.

“Just because they’re on suspense doesn’t mean they’re lost and forgotten,” said Ken Delfino, the town’s . “They’re in the marshal’s hands.”

Delfino explained that in 2009, the town gave the marshal’s office the suspense lists from 2005 to 2008, which resulted in approximately $30,000 being collected. In May 2012, the marshal received the lists from 2006 to 2010.

“It irks me that there’s a bunch of the same names on here over the years,” said Council member . “It almost looks like some people got free rides. Give me a half hour and I could probably go find 10 of these people in town right now. Let’s give the list to the collection agency.”

Councilman suggested letting the marshal “have a shot at it [the list]” but wondering “at what point do they let it go?”

State Marshal Neil Longobardi was in attendance and explained the process to the Council saying that he had to obtain a warrant to serve the letter and once the time limit on the warrant runs out, he renews the warrant, noting “I don’t give up.”

Because taxes are tied to motor vehicle registration, Longobardi said many people have realized they can skip two years of tax payments before it’s time to re-register their car.

Longobardi was quick to point out he is aware that it’s a “sad situation out there,” noting that he has received responses asking if people can make two or three payments on a $175 tax bill.

“I tell them to just send me the money they can for the taxes and I’ll waive my fee,” he said.

The state marshal uses different types of letters, saying that he had presented Delfino with his “pretty strong” letter, which was also reviewed by Esposito. After the review, Longobardi went with a less aggressive approach in the letter.

After reviewing the numbers on the suspense list, the Town Council unanimously approved the use of Longobardi’s “aggressive” letter in his attempts to collect outstanding taxes.

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