Have you paid your car taxes? If not, you’re gonna get a boot in the butt from big brother tax collector. The scofflaw cops are out in full force as noted in the news release below from Mayor Bill Finch.
So, hurry up and pay if you haven’t because I wouldn’t want anyone to get the boot during the OIB Christmas party Dec. 17, 5:30 at Two Boots. I mean there’s nothing worse than seeing your car immobilized when stuffing yourself with gourmet apizz’.
Car Tax Scofflaws Net City $454,000 in Back Taxes in Eight Weeks
BRIDGEPORT, CT (Dec. 5, 2008) – In eight weeks, the City’s focus on delinquent car tax collection has netted the City $453,929.24, an average of $56,000 per week.
“This is a great step forward in increasing the recovery of millions of back car taxes,” Mayor Bill Finch said. “We’re on track to recapture more than a half-million dollars before the end of the calendar year.”
Under the previous system of collecting back car taxes, the City, on average, booted less than 10 vehicles per week, translating into $1,000 a week in back car taxes being recovered. During the past eight weeks the City has booted 794 cars. There are nearly 56,000 delinquent car tax accounts representing about $45 million in taxes owed stretching back 15 years.
Utilizing the services of VioAlert, the City has been able to identify and immobilize delinquent vehicles 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday and Saturday until 3 p.m. Cars with delinquent taxes between $150 and $250 are “booted’ on the spot. Vehicles with more than $250 in back taxes have been subject to towing.
“VioAlert [the contractor hired to use its computer technology to identify delinquent cars] has made a big difference in helping us to go from $1,000 a week in collections to more than $55,000 a week,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Feeney said. “This goes a long way toward helping us to collect the money the City is owed.”
How it Works
VioAlert Systems contractors travel city streets scanning license plates to see if taxes are owed. When a delinquent vehicle is found, they boot the vehicle’s front wheel, and a sticker, with information displaying the telephone number to call to pay taxes, is affixed to the side window. Once the payment has been made, VioAlert detaches the boot from the car as quickly as possible, usually within an hour. If taxes are not paid within 24-48 hours of the placement of the boot, the City will tow cars, resulting in additional fees.
Speaking Of Boots …
I wonder what life was like in Bridgeport when Whiskey Hill earned its reputation for sticking its middle finger up to the puritanical forces during Prohibition. Oh, I know, we can ask Yahooy and Wondering! Check this out from Consumer Protection Commish Jerry Farrell.
Connecticut Marks 75th Anniversary of Repeal of Prohibition
State Control of Liquor Industry Came with Legalization of Sale of Alcohol
HARTFORD, December 5 – Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr., who also serves as Chairman of the Connecticut Liquor Control Commission, is recognizing today’s 75th anniversary of the end of national Prohibition and the start of State regulation of the liquor industry with visits to three Connecticut establishments, representing the three tiers of the state’s system of liquor control.
Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, one day after Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which had banned the sale of alcohol nationwide from 1920 to 1933. The 21st Amendment, while allowing the sale of alcohol, also put into place laws and regulations in every state, governing how liquor could be sold.
News release from Mayor Finch regarding tentative labor agreements
Tentative Agreements Reached with 3 City Labor Unions
Social Workers, Teamsters, Printers Agree on Terms
BRIDGEPORT, CT (December 6, 2008) – The City and several of its unions have come to tentative contract agreements, taking zero-percent pay raises and pay deferments, all meant to save the city several million dollars and stave off a potential $20 million dollar deficit at the end of the current fiscal year.
The unions include: Social Workers, SEIU Union Local 1199, Bridgeport Typographical Union Local 252 and Teamsters Union Local 191.
These actions follow the vote by Bridgeport Police Union 1159 to accept a four-year deal with two years of zero-percent raises and a deferment of holiday and vacation pay until retirement, among other concessions.
The city is still in active negotiations with other unions such as NAGE, LIUNA and AFSCME, but progress has been slow, and decisions must be made before the end of the calendar year in order to effect a 6-month savings on the current fiscal year’s budget. Certain labor unions require specific notice regarding layoffs, and contracts differ among unions.
“A few weeks ago, we gave all the unions a number they needed to hit in order to avert layoffs,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The Police department stepped up to the plate and their decision will help us save $850,000 in this fiscal year, in addition to the value of a zero percent pay increase for two years. Other unions also have taken the city’s dire financial situation to heart and have prompted their membership to accept zero-percent raises and other pay deferments in order to keep the city solvent.”
“We hope that all other city labor unions will do the same. If not, we will have to lay employees off to get the $4.5 million in budget savings that we need in order to keep the city’s budget in the black.”
The City has scheduled a meeting with Bridgeport Firefighters Union Local 834 to discuss reopening its contract to negotiate concessions for the current budget year.
Following are the details of the tentative agreements:
Social Workers, SEIU Union Local 1199 – Zero-percent wage increase for period covering 7/1/08 to 12/31/08; $1,341 training pay allotment to revert back to the City.
Bridgeport Typographical Union Local 252 – Zero-percent wage increases for FY 2009-09; two-year contract duration, retroactive to 7/1/08 to 6/30/10, with a re-opener for wages and health benefits effective 6/30/09.
Teamsters Union Local 191 – Zero-percent wage increase for fiscal year 2008-09; 2-year contract duration 7/1/08 to 6/30/10; with a re-opener for wages, health benefits and sick leave effective 6/30/09.