Richman: Why I Am Running For Tax Collector in 2017

Submitted by Howard Richman, candidate for Tax Collector, Oct 31, 2017

I am running for Tax Collector to fix issues in the Tax Collector’s office that are costing the Town and the taxpayer money.

Late last summer the current Tax Collector had checks totaling $116 million sitting on a desk for 5 weeks costing the Town approximately $80,000 in interest.

The interest lost is the equivalent to approximately seven homeowner tax payments over the course of one year. By not depositing payments within a one week period the Tax Collector violated State Statute and the Town Charter.

After the Tax Collector’s budget was cut $50,000 in March of 2016 he pledged no layoffs.

One year later two employees were laid off so the department would not run out of money.

Once those employees were dismissed functions of the department deteriorated. Tax refunds, mandated Court Ordered adjustments to tax bills, credit card charges and bounced checks were no longer being processed in a timely manner.

These issues continue today with no end in sight.

In a League of Women Voters forum on October 24, the Tax Collector tried to pin the department’s dismal performance on the Board of Estimate and Taxation because they had cut the department’s budget. He took no ownership by planning ahead in order to deal with a future situation.

Clearly, the Tax Collector’s office is being mismanaged. It is time for a change.

Please vote for me on November 7 so this mess can be cleaned up.

Howard Richman
Democratic Candidate for Tax Collector