ShareThis Page
Tarentum considering public shaming of tax deadbeats | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Tarentum considering public shaming of tax deadbeats

Brian C. Rittmeyer
716608_web1_Web-TarentumSign.1

Warning to Tarentum tax deadbeats: your tax debt soon could become public knowledge.

Borough council is considering using the threat of public embarrassment to get delinquent property taxpayers to pay up.

As tentatively discussed, if those who owe delinquent property taxes don’t pay by April 30, their names would become publicly available on the borough’s website on May 1.

“It is possible to do,” Borough Manager Michael Nestico said. “We have the legal authority to do that.”

It would happen if council approves a resolution to do so at its meeting on Thursday.

According to Nestico, Tarentum is owed almost $670,000 in unpaid property taxes from 1978 to 2017, the most recent year available.

Most of that money is from recent years, with almost $100,000 owed from 2017 alone. About $60,000 is owed from 1978 through 2000, he said.

While some of the very old past-due accounts could belong to the dead, officials believe most of it is owed by people still living in their homes.

The balance owed from 2013 to 2017 is more than half of the total — about $336,000.

Tax bills will be going out in three weeks. Councilwoman Carrie Fox said the warning would give those who owe a chance to pay before the names are released.

Fox suggested putting the names on the borough’s website first to avoid the cost of a newspaper advertisement.

“It does work,” she said of getting delinquent taxpayers to pay. “It’s very effective.”

Nestico and council discussed how information about those who do or do not pay their Allegheny County property tax is readily available on the county’s website, and that some property owners may pay their county tax bill but not the borough’s for that reason.

Solicitor David Regoli said the borough can put who does and does not pay on its website.

“Taxes are public knowledge,” Councilwoman Lou Ann Homa said.

Council meets beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the borough building, 318 E. Second Ave.


Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.


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

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.