Six weeks after a story raised questions about the practices of the Ansonia tax collector — and six months after elected officials first asked the question — the Board of Aldermen is receiving lists of delinquent taxpayers.
The information could become a topic of discussion of the Sept. 11 Board of Aldermen meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Ansonia City Hall.
The Aldermen requested the information from City Hall staff after a Valley Indy story showed that tax collector Bridget Bostic had given proof of payment car tax receipts to her mother and a few city employees when, in fact, they still owed the city car taxes.
The Valley Indy story was not about the larger issue of whether public officials — elected, appointed, or employed by the city — owed back taxes, although the story noted at the time about 30 employees and city officials owed Ansonia about $50,000 combined on all types of taxes as of June 28, 2012.
Mayor James Della Volpe said at the time the city was treating those delinquent taxpayers like any other resident late with their taxes. The city was sending letters and going through the normal collection procedures.
Since the Valley Indy first published its story on the questionable car tax proof of payments July 18, Bostic has resigned, a prosecutor is reviewing the matter and four city employees have been placed on paid suspension pending a fact-finding hearing scheduled for Sept. 12.
Meanwhile, the Ansonia Board of Aldermen have instituted a wide range of reforms on the tax office and are now trying to determine whether the issues raised by the Valley Indy go deeper than reported by the publication.
The Aldermen recently passed a resolution that would allow them to remove Aldermen-appointed volunteers on city boards and commissions who owe more than a year’s worth of taxes. The removal would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
As part of that effort, the Aldermen recently requested a specific list of officials who owed taxes just prior to the July 18 Valley Indy story.
The list compiled by the Valley Indy — specific to its investigation and which was used as a source to narrow down the officials who received the car tax document — is posted below. The list contain notes compiled by the reporter.
Please note that the information was current at the time the initial Valley Indy story was published and those listed below could have paid their bills since June:
Patrick Tirella, for example, called the Valley Indy Tuesday and said he does not owe taxes. His name is not on the list distributed Tuesday by Ansonia City Hall (see second list at the bottom of this article).
This week each Ansonia Aldermen received a comprehensive list of taxes owed as of Aug. 31 by city employees, members of city boards and commissions and the board of education.
The list also includes taxes which are due in January. Click here for a podcast explaining some of the differences between the two lists.
That list is embedded below. Click here for a better view.