ShareThis Page
Public shaming threat moves 1 delinquent Tarentum property owner to pay taxes |
Valley News Dispatch

Public shaming threat moves 1 delinquent Tarentum property owner to pay taxes

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Thursday, February 14, 2019 11:54 a.m

The threat of publicly shaming delinquent taxpayers in Tarentum hasn’t produced the desired results as far as the borough is concerned.

As of Thursday, just one person had come forward to pay $1,500 in delinquent property taxes.

A week before, Tarentum Council approved a proposal to post the names of delinquent taxpayers on the borough’s website on May 1. Officials hoped the threat would spur people to pay their back taxes or get on a payment plan.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. People just don’t care anymore,” said tax collector Karen Marietti. “It’s not fair to us who pay.”

Borough Manager Michael Nestico said Tarentum’s unpaid property taxes totaled almost $670,000 from 1978 to 2017, the most recent years available.

Almost $100,000 went unpaid in 2017 alone, he said.

Marietti said most of the taxes are owed on residential properties, including rentals.

The person who came forward paid unpaid taxes that had accumulated on his home over three years, Marietti said.

The man told officials he wanted to avoid being included on the public delinquent list, according to Marietti.

To avoid being included, Marietti said property owners need to pay their delinquent taxes in full or get on a payment plan by mid-April.

Payment plans will vary based on how much is owed, but she said payments can’t be less than $100 per month.

“It has to be a reasonable amount,” she said.

Property owners can reach Marietti by phone at 724-224-1179 or email at Until Feb. 25, the office in the borough building at 318 E. Second Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Beginning Feb. 25, the office also will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.