Greenwich Time finally discovers tax bill problem

And whitewashes it. Only two weeks after the blogosphere started writing about the late mailing of tax bills, and days after our paper of record disclosed that jelly fish are late in arriving this year, Greenwich Time has decided that the late arrival of tax bills is almost as important as jelly fish and has finally published (or will tomorrow) a silly, incomplete article that completely exonerates the current town government. lays all the blame on an outside firm and makes no mention at all of what’s going to happen to homeowners who pay their taxes in escrow to their mortgage lenders.

But if they won’t,  I will: your payment will be made late and you will be charged a 3% penalty – 1.5% for July and 1.5% for August. Is Greenwich Time just engaged in lazy, sloppy and incomplete reporting, or has its editor decided he will refrain from saying anything harsh about Peter Tesei and his inept staff ? (I happen to be a registered Republican, for what that’s worth)

I don’t know the answer to that but I do know I cancelled my subscription to the paper long ago when my cat Henry stopped accepting it as a substitute for genuine clay kitty litter in his pan.

It’s sort of like “the check is in mail,” but in this case, it is the tax bill that will be in the mail — although later than previous years. [And weeks after the legal deadline - Ed]

And it’s not the fault of the town, said Tax Collector Tod Laudonia, who added the bills should be in the hands of taxpayers by the end of the week.

He blamed Tyler Technologies, a Dallas company that processes the tax information the town provides. He said the company needed more than two weeks to resolve a software error.

“I am very disappointed with the customer service they provided us,” Laudonia said. “It took them 15 working days to resolve the problem.”

Look: when Laudonia took the job as tax collector and even before he was sworn in in January, he knew that tax bills were required to be sent out by June 30th. So he does nothing for six months and then complains that it took 15 days for the vendor to correct a problem? Suppose, instead of golfing in Florida all winter, he’d addressed the issue in, say, February. Fifteen days wouldn’t have been an issue, eh?

Peter Tesei isn’t quoted in the article at all, either because the GT reporter was too lazy to call him or couldn’t reach him at the nudie beach but we do learn that “Town officials will meet with Tyler Technologies later in the summer to review what went wrong.” My hope is that we send a couple of janitors and food servers from the basement cafeteria to that meeting, rather than Laudonia or anyone else associated with Tesei. Something might get accomplished.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Greenwich Time finally discovers tax bill problem

  1. Pierre Bergé, Nom de Plume

    So the late tax bills have nothing to do with the on-going replacement of carpeting and ceiling tiles at Town Hall?

  2. Mr. Independent

    Does anyone know if taxes are being paid through mortgage escrow, how to get the taxes paid to avoid the penalty?

    • Mr. Independent, I’m finding it nearly impossible to find anyone at the large banks with authority to accept clients’ offers to buy entire mortgages, so I’m dubious about finding someone who will authorize payment of a tax bill without an an actual copy of the bill. My own suggestion, sure to be ignored, is that Greenwich waive late payment penalties for thirty days after the bills are actually produced and mailed.. The rule now is that bills are supposed to go out June 30th and penalties start 30 days after those bills are sent. So apply that same rule, but extend the August 1st penalty start until 30 days after the bills are mailed. That seems fair to me.

  3. Has anybody called Tyler Technologies to get their side of the story? Chris, please get on this right away. Tax dollars to cop donuts the Local Rag story is a bunch of bull put out by the Town’s Law Department.

  4. Pierre Bergé, Nom de Plume

    Cher Monsieur de la Fontagne,
    I got a peek at the Town’s contract with Tyler Technologies. It seems to say that TT is not obligated to send out tax bills, they do so only as a courtesy, when they get around to it. They are very grateful for the 2,000 jobs we help support in Texas. The president (Salary = $395k) welcomes clients at TT’s annual hoe-down rodeo. “Y’all come on down. Yee-ha!”

  5. Cos Cobber

    Hopefully the hospital follows through on their lawsuit. The zoning board had no right to dictate business terms between two entities not controlled by the city. I’m glad the hospital is not rolling over.

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Stamford-Hospital-sues-Zoning-Board-574559.php

  6. Teri Buhl

    Great reporting on this late tax bill Chris – Greenwich home owners are lucky to have you writing about a subject that the GT’s R.E. reporter can’t seem to get the story right.