Log in Register

 

 Saturday August 18, 2018

Curtis Ryan Honda Housatonic Community College The Barnum Museum Elle Sera OIB the book
Bridgeport Public Library

Why State Senate Candidate Ricky DeJesus’ Tax Delinquency Swelled

February 23rd, 2015 · 17 Comments · City Budget, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

State Senate candidate Ricky DeJesus owes the city roughly $140,000 in personal property taxes. He also owed a whole bunch more in real estate taxes sold off in tax lien sales. In this story CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart explains why the city did not go after him for collection of back personal property taxes.

In a city that could use the money, how can someone living, working and running for office rack up a tax debt of $140,639 with no apparent consequences?

That’s what Councilman-turned-state Senate candidate Richard DeJesus owes–a now widely reported bill that has cost him some support in the run up to Tuesday’s 23rd Senate District special election.

Bridgeport officials have done everything from booting cars to selling property tax liens to collection agencies to going to court and seizing land and real estate in efforts to crack down on tax delinquents.

Full store here.

Share

Tags: ··

17 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Pereira

    So let me get this straight. Mayor Finch has served for 7-1/2 years and he is just about to start addressing outstanding Property Taxes after Richard DeJesus’ Property Tax delinquency was exposed and right before Mayor Finch is up for re-election. I am sure this turn of events is completely coincidental.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    This is just so much election-year bullshit and Anne Kelly-Lenz is the chief bullshit artists on this one. A person owes back taxes on personal property for 12 years and you can’t collect it. Really???

    • Steven Auerbach

      I have to agree with both Andy and Maria. The city will threaten foreclosure for WPCA as well as back taxes less than $4000. How Dejesus made his way up the political ladder with this outstanding debt is really outrageous. This is just incompetence across the board. Very disturbing and the Mayor waited to go after DeJesus and supporting Moales is just political suicide. And one last bit of advice for the Mayor. Ending every press conference with Bridgeport is getting better is wearing thin and will keep losing its cuteness as the weeks go on. The slogan is just not as strong as Obama’s “yes we can.”

  • Ron Mackey

    This is just another reason why businesses won’t come and locate here, a city can’t and won’t collect taxes owed to run the city plus a poor school system with a mayor trying to run it. Here we have a mayor with no vision for the city, 7-1/2 years in office now he’s going to try to collect taxes, this guy is a joke but remember he never wanted to be mayor but those in power didn’t want Chris Caruso, now look what they have given us.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Supporting Moales and stating Bridgeport is getting better and better is going to suffocate the Finch Mayoral campaign. Mayor, what could you be thinking?

    • Ron Mackey

      Steven Auerbach, Finch knows he is losing black support big time so he needs Moales and he hopes Moales can provide that help for his election, but Moales can’t hold his own in the black community. Joe Ganim.

  • John Marshall Lee

    “That is the hardest tax to collect, and I only say that because of businesses coming and going really quick within a city,” Kelly-Lenz said.

    Is it because a former “aggressive” Tax Assessor looked at “business personal property” as new even if it was fully depreciated and then let business persons try to argue and appeal their way out of the problem? How much of this third type of tax is currently on the books relative to the amount of the same tax paid each year?

    Kelly-Lenz, Bridgeport’s former Tax Collector, just reported in the 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Review our tax base is steady as of October 1, 2012. In the light of the DeJesus revelation and others deferred for years, what mistake was she making?

    1) Using the wrong date for the CAFR when she should have been commenting on October 1, 2013?

    2) But she couldn’t technically use October 1, 2013 because people in City Hall had seen the 2013 revaluation numbers and knew the tax base was significantly reduced, so she repeated the same line from the year before, making it like a typo error?

    3) What comment can be used to support the Mayor’s declaration “the City is getting better every day?”

    Unfortunately “getting better daily” is not the situation when the Finance Director is noting businesses come and go really quickly in the City.

    How will David Kooris as OPED Director in his next presentation spin that comment with potential new businesses?

    And how much of that $140,000 is interest and how much is the original tax burden? After seven years of failing to share the problem with the City Council or the taxpaying public, how much will it matter to this inefficient administration? How much to voters? Time will tell.

  • Tom White

    Perhaps if Finch had not dumped tax assessor Bill O’Brien (hired by Fabrizi) there would not be long-term uncollected business personal property taxes. What is the total amount of delinquent business personal property tax owed to the City? Should I call my council member?

    The other issue here is regarding how someone can be elected to office, and only when they aspire to higher office does it become known they are a tax scofflaw.

    What screening is done by the organizations that put forth these candidates? The answer is none. The culprit seems to be the Bpt Democratic town committee which fails to screen candidates and also violates city charter by nominating and supporting city employees as candidates for the city council.

    Is it time for candidates for elected office to be subjected to the same screening as nominees for boards and commissions (unless your name is Tiago)? Who’s in charge of ordinances? Anybody know?

  • BARF

    I believe the police department enforces laws and ordinances!

  • Tom White

    The city council oversees ordinances, introducing new and amending as needed.

    • John Marshall Lee

      Tom,
      Let’s not leave OIB readers with the idea the Ordinance Committee of the City Council is proficient at monitoring Ordinances created and approved in the past. Currently the Council is operating their Stipend program in a manner not authorized by the Ordinance. When they last discussed the matter, they tabled it and never looked back, so their debit card advance system with no oversight of actual expenditures departs significantly from the Ordinance that calls for REIMBURSEMENTS of Council-related expenses.

      The other issue regards a large Ordinance section regarding purchasing activity. Up to date? Under review? Tabled? Ask you Council person and see if they are paying attention. Do many of them care? Time will tell.

  • Bob Walsh

    Just when you think the incompetency of the Finch Administration couldn’t get any worse, it just keeps getting better every day!

  • Bob Walsh

    And Lennie, please. “Tax collections come under the authority of Tax Collector Veronica Jones.” Finch threw Anne Kelly under the bus with their response to this article. Don’t you go pulling her out.
    But besides Veronica and Anne, what about Tom Sherwood? He puts together the budget. What kind of projecting is he doing on Personal Property Tax Collection? 100%?
    And let’s not forget Andy Nunn. What thoughts does Andy have on this issue? Nunn.
    But ultimately the buck stops with the mayor. If his underlings are not keeping him informed, FIRE THEM!!!
    And if they are and he is too busy thinking green and fuel cells then it is up to us to FIRE FINCH.

  • Bob Walsh

    And this $140K number is a low ball. There are more delinquent taxes attributable to Ricky that have not been reported. The real number is easily in excess of $160,000 and growing.
    But this is just one taxpayer. Think of how huge the real number must be. You can be sure it is in excess of $1 million. It would only take six Rickys to reach that. Is it $2 million, $5 million, MORE???
    Where is the council? Budget and Appropriations? The Council President? Yeah … we’re getting better every day. Better at what? BS?

  • Bob Walsh

    5/10/2012–Mayor Finch Names Anne Kelly-Lenz Acting Finance Director, Veronica Jones Named Acting Tax Collector

    Jones has been employed by the City for 18 years, serving as a cashier, accounting clerk and brief stint as a Tax Assessment Clerk. She became the Acting Deputy Tax Collector on 2009, and in February 2012 she became the Deputy Tax Collector. She holds an associate’s degree from Housatonic Community College and will be taking the Certified Connecticut Municipal Collector test in June.

    You are kidding me, Lennie. Aren’t you? Eighteen years as a cashier!!! This is who you are saying is responsible? FIRE FINCH!!! We cannot afford this kind of better.

Leave a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.