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Old 04-21-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,921,379 times
Reputation: 1741

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My husband was stationed in Waterbury, CT from 2001 to 2005 as an active-duty recruiter. The property tax Grand List comes out in the October prior to the tax year. So if you are paying your 2006 taxes, the grand list comes out on Oct. 1, 2005.

Earlier this month, we received a collections notice from a collection agency that we owed property taxes on my husband's vehicle for the 2006 tax year. We never received the tax notification as I believe it was lost in the mail. We had THREE mailing addresses between Oct. 1, 2005 and Nov. 30, 2005 because we moved out of our apartment, moved into my parent's house for two weeks in Danbury, CT, and finally moved into a rental home at Fort Lee, VA.

After we received the collections notice, we sent the a lot of information to the collection's agency to try to either reduce the amount owed or have it waived completely, as we only lived in Waterbury, CT for a month after the grand list came out AND my husband was active duty military stationed in Connecticut, but not a resident of CT, he was a resident of Pennsylvania. We sent in: DD214, copy of orders stating that he was to report to Fort Lee on Nov. 9, 2005, copies of his vehicle title showing a clear title in Virginia and then in Colorado where we currently have the car registered. We sent a copy of the title because Waterbury never placed a lien on the vehicle.

Today, we received a letter from the collections agency stating that Waterbury is refusing to reduce any of the taxes that we owe OR any of the penalties and fees (which amount to about $1500 right now) because we didn't apply for a waiver of property taxes within a year of when the property taxes were due.

I'm wondering if there is anything further that we can do about this? I am LIVID. I don't understand why it has taken them six years to send us this. I'm ready to contact the media, but I'm not sure which media to contact, my local media (but what pull would they have in a CT case since we are in CO), my senator? Connecticut media?

Hubby wants to pay it and be done with it, but I don't think we should.

What would you do?
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
Reputation: 28092
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_hug99 View Post

Hubby wants to pay it and be done with it, but I don't think we should.

What would you do?
1. Well, if it were $10 then be done with it? How about $100? You never said.

2. Is your spouse still active duty (Does not really matter normally, just something you might mention)

3. What would I do? The same thing I have done in the past, once you have your facts lined up and accurate, and you can not get the issue resolved, send your complaint to who represents you in Congress: Click here to determine who represents you in Congress


Good luck


Rich
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,921,379 times
Reputation: 1741
$1500 right now. You are charged 1.5% in fees each month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_hug99 View Post
Today, we received a letter from the collections agency stating that Waterbury is refusing to reduce any of the taxes that we owe OR any of the penalties and fees (which amount to about $1500 right now) because we didn't apply for a waiver of property taxes within a year of when the property taxes were due.
Rich, which congress person? Current one in Colorado even though this is something in Connecticut?
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
Reputation: 28092
I have always started with the representative in the District I live in.


Rich
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,087,640 times
Reputation: 1863
You may consider going directly to the state tax people. The collection people work on a commission and may not be making the state people aware of the facts.

We had a little different experience but thankfully things worked out for us. A collection agency contacted us trying to collect on a six year old telephone bill in Jackson Mississippi. Long story short - it was I.D. theft and we had never even visited Jackson. Thankfully our collection agency was helpful, but I guess my point is; we can run but we can't hide, especially with the Internet and the many search Web sites.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
3,861 posts, read 10,090,073 times
Reputation: 4276
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkansasSlim View Post
You may consider going directly to the state tax people. The collection people work on a commission and may not be making the state people aware of the facts.
I'm no expert on this, but I rather like this idea. Contact the state tax people.

Also, being in the military, don't you have the option of consulting a military lawyer? I think that might be especially important given that the root cause is whether or not your military status affects the right of Waterbury, CT to tax the vehicle.

However, doing some reverse math, even if the fines and penalties were forgiven the original balance appears to be in the $500 range for a one month stay in Waterbury. That still sounds like an amount worth fighting over.

And finally, if you finally decided to go the media route, I would contact the Waterbury media. That's the media that would actually cause embarrassment to those pursuing this alleged debt.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:43 AM
 
16 posts, read 35,176 times
Reputation: 12
I think you should contact the Tax people of Conneticut as well. You should be tactful as this is the best way to get what you want. The only document that they should have ever required in the first place is his LES. This document will show them what state he belongs to. They should provide you with a fax number to send all of the documents in and this time you will have a confirmation page for the fax sent, to prove that documents was sent. I would contact them shortly afterwards to ensure that they recieved the documents and from time to time check if you have been granted the waiver. Since he is in the military, perhaps contacting the JAG would not hurt for some legal advice in needed.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560
Vehicle taxes in Ct are handled by the township clerks.

They do not mail out tax bills. You as a vehicle owner are expected to know which town the DMV assigned for you to pay taxes to, and you are expected to search out that town and pay your taxes.

During my Active Duty career [1976-2001] I was stationed in Ct a number of times.

When you sell a vehicle, or re-license it in another state they expect you to contact the appropriate town clerk with copies of documents for them to remove the vehicle from their tax roll. Otherwise they will continue to charge you taxes each year, and it will never occur to them to send you a notice.

In around 1990 they began computerizing communication between the DMV and the towns. So now if any township carries an old bill on any person the DMV knows and the DMV will refuse to issue you a Driver's License or register your vehicle until after you have cleared up the issue with the town.

I had this happen to me twice. The last time it was a $500 bill, for a vehicle that I had moved to another state with and sold a decade before I was made aware of the tax bill.

As I recall, when registering a vehicle in Ct. You start by paying property tax on the vehicle, you can pay this at the DMV. But you need to locate and remember which township this money is going to, because you will become responsible to that township for each following year's taxes [until you prove to that township that you no longer won said vehicle]. Then you pay a road tax on the vehicle to the DMV.
Then you buy the plates from the DMV. Then you pay a registration fee to 'register' the plates to the vehicle. Then you pay a tax on the registration fee.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,921,379 times
Reputation: 1741
FB, I grew up in Connecticut. Before I married my husband I lived in Waterbury with a vehicle in my own name which meant I was responsible for the property taxes on that vehicle. I absolutely did receive a property tax bill from Waterbury for the two years that I lived there. When I moved back to Danbury, I also received a tax bill from them. Municipalities send out tax bills.

We did contact Waterbury, CT directly first. They stated that they would not speak to us as we had to go through the collection agency, this is also stated in the letter that we received from the collection agency. We sent the forms certified mail to the collection agency which they forward to the City of Waterbury.

In the response letter denying our claim for military exemption OR reduction, it states: Any application for credit must be made within two years of the tax bill, that expired December 31, 2008. The application for military credit must have been made by Dec. 31, 2007.

Last edited by captain_hug99; 04-22-2012 at 09:37 AM..
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_hug99 View Post
FB, I grew up in Connecticut. Before I married my husband I lived in Waterbury with a vehicle in my own name which meant I was responsible for the property taxes on that vehicle. I absolutely did receive a property tax bill from Waterbury for the two years that I lived there. When I moved back to Danbury, I also received a tax bill from them. Municipalities send out tax bills.
The town that I recall having the worst problem with was Jewett City. I have never lived in Jewett City. But they were the township chosen by the DMV to collect property taxes on one of my vehicles.

I do not know if it was because I lived on-base, or what, it is possible that nobody in Jewett City ever had a mailing address for me, since I never lived there.

It was a decade later, when I was told about having the out-standing tax bill. And I had no idea where the Jewett City town office was located.

The impression that I got when I did find Jewett City, was that there are a great many servicemembers who pass through Ct and who are transferred away. Many of them have outstanding property tax bills, that they have no knowledge of. So long as they stay away from Ct, the topic will never arise. It is only if they return to Ct and attempt to do business with the DMV, they they will learn of the outstanding bill.



Quote:
... We did contact Waterbury, CT directly first. They stated that they would not speak to us as we had to go through the collection agency, this is also stated in the letter that we received from the collection agency. We sent the forms certified mail to the collection agency which they forward to the City of Waterbury.

In the response letter denying our claim for military exemption OR reduction, it states: Any application for credit must be made within two years of the tax bill, that expired December 31, 2008. The application for military credit must have been made by Dec. 31, 2007.
That sounds right.

The town office said that they purge their records after a couple years, only keeping the outstanding amounts. But not the actual documents. They gain hundreds of these documents each year from servicemembers who are no longer stationed in Ct. So their tiny office [they were in a basement and the front entrance was facing a back alley] is filled quickly. They need to purge each year so to avoid filling their allotted basement room. Without having the documents on hand they will not entertain any discussion of mitigating those bills.

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