YORKTOWN, N.Y. Former Yorktown Supervisor Susan Siegel feels current town officials should be taking a more aggressive approach to collecting an estimated $2 million in unpaid taxes from 1995 to 2009.
Siegel, who was ousted from office last year after a two-year term, said the Town Board's referral of 17 grievance applications to the Greenburgh Board of Assessment Review earlier this week was a symptom of a larger problem of the town's "lack of attention" to recouping unpaid taxes.
"While so many taxpayers are struggling to keep current with the taxes, others are getting a free ride at the expense of the rest of us," Siegel said. "It's not fair or equitable."
In addition, Siegel said unpaid taxes directly affect the town's fund balance and its ability to complete capital projects.
Current Supervisor Michael Grace, who unseated Siegel, said Siegel was comparing apples to oranges by lumping the grievance applications with unpaid taxes. He maintained that Yorktown was following all the required regulations in attempting to collect back taxes from property owners.
"You can't stop the taxes from accumulating or put a gun to somebody's head to pay taxes. The only thing you can do is take the property," Grace said. "It isn't so black and white, and there's a lot of ugliness to it. The best you can do is try to work it out with them."
Grace also said his patience was running thin with Siegel's constant criticism of his administration.
"It's just her launching grenades. I inherited this mess," Grace said. "The woman doesn't know anything about what goes on. She's completely misinformed about what happens. I don't know what she is driving at."
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