Daily Archives: July 26, 2010

Pulled up on OG: Laudonia caves

Hey: that  $87,000 salary must be looking good.

With pressure mounting for the town to right the wrong that resulted from the late mailing of property tax bill bills, a rare three-week extension was granted Monday for home and business owners to pay.

First-term Tax Collector Tod Laudonia agreed to push back the payment deadline from Aug. 2 to Aug. 23 after consulting with the town attorney’s office.

A number of residents are just now receiving their real estate and motor vehicle tax bills from the town, which usually sends them out at the beginning of July but said it couldn’t because of a software glitch beyond its control.

“I certainly understand that people could be under the gun due to the lateness that they received it,” Laudonia said.

A provision in Section 12-142 of the Connecticut General Statutes allows for the payment of property taxes “not later than thirty days following the date on which rate bills for such tax are mailed or handed to persons liable therefor.”

Laudonia said that the final batch of bills was mailed from the printer July 23.

In damage control mode for much of July, Laudonia was initially reluctant to extend the grace period, telling the newspaper last week that the absence of bills doesn’t absolve home and business owners from having to pay taxes.

That brought a backlash from residents, who argued that many taxpayers are away on summer vacation and shouldn’t have to pay for the town’s mistake.

“(My) office has been getting a lot of complaints,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said before the decision came down from Laudonia. “While I don’t have the statutory authority over the (tax collector’s) office, I certainly am in favor of granting a two-week grace period. I’ve advised Tod that is my view of what should be done.”

Don’t tell my pal Fudrucker, who I have to see (and enjoy seeing!)  every morning, but I suspect Tesei read the riot act to Laudonia and made him do the right thing. Good for him.


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Attention Phil Russell – free cash for grabs in Norwalk!

Reader Jeff Hall sent me this link to a story from Norwalk where the authorities have arrested a resident for harassing the tax collector. Phil Russell won this case (Wilton, I think) long ago – I visited his winning client on Block Island when Phil and I were sailing in the area. His client was having a grand time in a hotel there while any number of Wilton residents were stuck at home that summer, paying off their tax bills. Public officials are fair game for abuse and when you arrest private citizens for abusing them, the citizen wins. Big time, as does his or her attorney. Tax payers pay  of course, for the stupidity of their leaders.


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Here’s how to move a house

31 Vista Drive


This is an acre-and-a-half of (tidal) waterfront with a nice house on it in a great neighborhood. The listing agent, Barbara Wells, brought it on for $16.750 million in April – hey, you might as well try. But when it didn’t sell at that price, within a month she’d dropped it to $14 million and today she’s cut the price again, to $11.5. I don’t know what the right price is for this place, but I respect the sellers for sending a strong signal that they want to sell. Judicious little nibbles send the exact opposite message. 



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Compare, contrast

I had assumed that most readers who stumbled across this blog would quickly figure out that I write with tongue firmly in cheek. Apparently, not every reader makes that discovery.

So for the record, I am NOT running for whateverthehell position Greenwich resident Lisle Gibbons presently holds, and for the record, I am aware that there is an “s” in her name. Here:

A wild gibbon

A Lisle Gibbons


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Here’s another “no comment”

32 Hearthstone Drive, Riverside

Listed for $2.095 in 2006, sold that year for $1.750, listed today for $1.695.


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No Comment

30 Havemeyer Lane

Sold at $705,000, 2004, asked $935,000 in 2008, three brokers, two years later, sold Friday for $670,000.


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Well this makes it okay, I suppose


I’d thought the French killed off all but two of my ancestors, but here’s one more, making money off our Massachusetts tax evader

Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I. Isabel — Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage — was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine. But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern. Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven — like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau — for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners? Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000. …[S]tate Department of Revenue spokesguy Bob Bliss confirmed the senator “is under no obligation to pay the commonwealth sales tax.”


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Earth Ocean Sky Blog

What kind of jerk am I? I have a regular, erudite reader, and I just finally noticed that she blogs!


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What? What! Fudrucker disowns me?

Demmerkrats announce they have no candidate to run against Lile Gibbons.

November is still more than three months away, but state Rep. Lile Gibbons, R-150th District, can just about dust off her victory speech.

Democrats conceded that they have no one to challenge Gibbons, who has run uncontested in all five previous general elections and becomes the only member of the town’s all-Republican legislative delegation without an opponent.

“It’s just not going to happen, which is a shame,” said Frank Farricker, the Democratic Town Committee chairman. “It would have been good for the town to have all of the races challenged.”

While there is the small problem that I am a registered Republican, Fudrucker is fully aware  that I have, in fact, never actually voted for one of them ( well, okay, I voted for Scott Frantz, but only because I like him) and that I stand ready and willing to challenge this Gibbon. Was it my vow never to step foot in Hartford if elected that scared the Demmerkrat Chairman away from endorsing my candidacy? My invented quote that had him denouncing Drew Marzuloish? These are important questions, that must, and will be answered over a serious cup of coffee with the son of a bitch later this morning. And I’m going to make him buy the coffee! I mean, I am angry!

UPDATE: Aha! I see it now : Farricker: “It would have been good for the town to have all of the races challenged.” It’s because I’m  white.


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