Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tax Lien Notice Names Names

In that annual exercise known as the tax lien sale, a lengthy notice has been published naming those who slipped up on paying property or sewer taxes.

The amounts owed will now be liable for sale to individuals who will pay the city and then require debtors to pay the money back at up to 18 percent interest. If the debtors don’t pay within a certain time frame, the lien holder can apply to foreclose on the property.

All that aside, the most interesting part of the legal notice may be who is listed as owing taxes or sewer charges.

The 2006 list includes highly paid fire officials, school board members, the school board itself, the New Jersey School Construction Corporation, a prominent realtor, a member of the Democratic City Committee, the owner of a controversial night club, city employees, a school principal and the owner of a South Avenue business.

On the bright side, the list is down from two and a quarter pages in 2005 to one and a half pages of listings this year. But of course, that was why the state Division of Local Government Services would not allow as much in anticipated delinquent tax revenues as the city had projected for the 2006 fiscal year. The city has just done too good a job of plucking up all those taxes owed.

The tax lien sale is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 26 in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. The legal notice states that only those who were pre-registered by March 30 can take part.

The sale will be conducted by David Marshall, who was named tax collector last month. City officials declined on comment last month on the status of former Tax Collector Constance Ludden. Auditors for the past two years have suggested that the tax collector must be bonded, but officials declined to say whether Ludden was bonded or could be bonded.

In the past, tax lien sales have added millions to city coffers. But as the city’s percentage of taxes collected increased, the ability to reap dollars on tax lien sales decreased.

--Bernice Paglia

KEYWORDS: tax liens, tax sale