Letter to the editor from Howard Richman, Democrat, Tax Collector
Two years ago, when I ran for Tax Collector, I pointed out the inefficiencies and mismanagement in the office and described how I would fix them. For instance, it was taking up to five weeks to deposit checks which cost Greenwich taxpayers approximately $80,000 in interest. Refunds, court-ordered stipulated tax adjustments, non-sufficient funds and credit card chargebacks were being processed slowly or not at all.
During my tenure, the office has:
- streamlined the deposit process for tax payment reducing the potential for lost revenue resulting in additional interest for the Town
- eliminated lines at the in-person payment windows during the July and January busy seasons
- redesigned the Tax Collector department pages on the Town website to offer more information
- revamped tax bills to reduce potential taxpayer error
- promoted tax payment online
On March 15, the Tax Collector office began enforcing real estate tax collection for properties that owed a substantial amount of money ranging from one to 13 years.
By May 20, the office had collected enough delinquent tax revenue to allow the Board of Estimate and Taxation to raise the mill rate 2.75% instead of the originally proposed 2.98% resulting in a lower tax for you, the Greenwich property owner.
To date, $4.2 million has been collected from delinquent taxpayers, money the Town of Greenwich would not have had if the Tax Collector office had not taken the necessary steps to enforce collection.
Two years ago, I promised to fix problems in the department. I have delivered on that promise.
Today, I am running on my record which I believe speaks for itself.
I look forward to continuing my efforts for the benefit of Greenwich taxpayers. I welcome your vote on November 5.