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Public shaming threat moves 1 delinquent Tarentum property owner to pay taxes | TribLIVE.com
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
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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 karenmarietti@comcast.net. 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, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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