Tarentum considers exonerating up to $70K in unpaid property taxes
Tarentum Council is considering exonerating delinquent property taxes totaling a combined $60,000 to $70,000 that the borough manager says it has little to no hope of collecting.
Considering what to do with those accounts was part of the reason the borough held off on posting the names of delinquent property taxpayers to the borough’s website on May 1 as previously planned.
Council decided in February to publicize the names of those with unpaid borough property taxes in hopes of getting them to pay or start making payments, which gets their names off the list.
Since then, 90 taxpayers have come forward and paid their debts to the tune of $90,000, Borough Manager Michael Nestico said.
A dozen more are on payment plans for a combined $15,000.
“Unfortunately, it works,” Councilwoman Carrie Fox said. “And unfortunately, you have to do it.”
That has left a list of 426 parcels that owe a combined $651,000.
The $60,000 to $70,000 that council could vote to wipe off the books on Thursday would come from 30 parcels, according to Nestico.
Some of those have been accumulating since the 1970s. They include vacant lots, parcels rendered useless by road and highway projects, and parcels with dead owners. Parcels owing a matter of a few dollars or even cents also would be forgiven.
There are some with more sizable amounts. A Third Avenue parcel that once had a building but is now vacant has built up $12,000 in unpaid borough property taxes, which Nestico said is not collectible.
Exonerating them “would clean up our books more than anything,” Nestico said.
Council may vote on the exonerations when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at the borough building. The remaining list could be posted to the borough’s website on Friday, Nestico said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .