Gateway board member, Monroeville councilman owe back taxes
A Gateway School Board member and Monroeville councilman owe property taxes to the Gateway School District and Allegheny County, records showed.
School Director Bill Bailey, a Democrat in the May 21 primary, failed to pay $2,740 in 2009 and $3,479 in 2010, resulting in the Gateway School District placing two liens on Bailey's home on Ramsey Road. Both liens remained in place as of Monday, court records showed.
Bailey also owes property taxes to Allegheny County, including $632 in 2012 and $529 this year, according to county records.
Bailey said he wasn't able to make the payments because of more than $150,000 of medical bills for his wife, who he said suffered two strokes within the past five years.
“It isn't something I'm willfully avoiding,” Bailey said. “I'm in the process of taking care of it.”
School board President Steve O'Donnell said he was shocked to hear that Bailey was behind on his taxes.
“This goes directly to the core of the personal integrity of a school board member,” O'Donnell said.
Bailey is not the only elected official in Monroeville who owes taxes.
Monroeville Councilman Clarence Ramsey and his wife, Carolyn, a Democrat in the May 21 primary who hopes to succeed her husband in the 7th Ward seat, failed to pay $1,360 to Gateway that was due in 2012, according to school district records.
Clarence Ramsey said Tuesday that he established a payment plan to pay off the debt.
He said he chose to pay other bills over the years, rather than local taxes, but always with the intent of eventually paying the taxes.
Ramsey said his wife always told him that he should pay the taxes. She did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
“I said, ‘As soon as they say something, we're going to take care of it,'” Clarence Ramsey said. “She always got (mad) at me for this stuff.”
The municipality placed a lien on their Dahlia Drive home in 2002 for $175, and Allegheny County placed a lien on the home in 2012 for $315. Both liens remained in place Tuesday, county records show.
A tax lien “encumbers” a property, meaning the owner cannot refinance, sell or transfer it until satisfying the obligation.
Monroeville tax collector Pat Fulkerson said he did not start the process to place a lien on the home last year for the school taxes because Clarence Ramsey promised to pay. When the Ramseys missed a Dec. 31 deadline, Fulkerson said, he forwarded paperwork to the school district to start another lien process.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.