Masterabaters

Well I guess we should not have to wait forever for the upcoming audit of the town of Windsor without a timely little update a NHInsider.com commenter or two from either side of the issue has asked/begged for.

First a brief/sorry history:

Taxpayers concerned that the 2007 State mandated Tax Collector’s Report handed out to the attending victims and beneficiaries of the Windsor Annual meeting had no numbers available but only a sad little note saying “Not available at this time” – page 17 if I remember correctly, contacted The Coalition of NH Taxpayers.

CNHT Directors went to meet the victims of the Windsor property tax scam at several of their homes and through those meetings became aware of how big a story this was. Think about it. The DRA was letting Windsor officials get away with not collecting property taxes from friends and relatives.

This is a huge deal to us at CNHT and a giant rip-off of the Windsor taxpayers who foot the bill for the whole town.

We asked for documents, we were delayed and denied.

We went to Superior Court, won the documents, costs, and had a laugh at the excuses the Town Counsel gave the judge for the officials not keeping records.

Our new Windsor taxpayer group began auditing what was won in court.

CNHT accompanied Windsor taxpayers to DRA meetings and provided support.

So in the mean time four Windsor officials have resigned. They are:

Tax Collector, Beverly Hines

Treasurer, Mrs. Carlson

Selectman, Gerry Needham

Selectman, Thomas J. Carlson

On May 20 of this year the then Board of Selectmen “ABATED” the property taxes of certain citizens in Windsor through a letter written as follows:

Town of Windsor

14 White Pond Rd.

Windsor, NH

03244

Phone# 478-3292, Fax# 478-3293

To the Collector of Taxes (new)

Kenneth Matthews

14 White Pond Rd.

Windsor, NH 03244

Tax Collector:

By vote of the Board of Selectmen upon the review of the “audit” (sic) we have abated the total amount of on (sic) the 2004 Property taxes of ( original document states name ) name (sic) now of Valera (Map # Lot #) in the amount of (the taxes not paid).

This action takes place in Windsor, New Hampshire.

Date: May 20, 2008

Per Order of the Selectmen of the Town of Windsor.

Thomas J. Carlson

Gerald Needham

Darlene Cuddy

Here is a sample of what was “ABATED”.

Joan Cuddy, $722.00 in property tax and $469.90 in interest from 2002.

Patrick Hines, $1635.00 in Property taxes and $861.06 in interest from 2002.

John Kablik, $864.25 in property taxes and $48.59 in interest from 2003.

Now this is where it gets fishy. Check out NH tax law.

76:17-d Abatement Refund. – The selectmen or assessors may apply all or a portion of the amount of any taxes abated, along with interest computed according to this chapter, to any outstanding taxes owed by the taxpayer to the municipality. Taxes shall be considered outstanding if they are subject to interest pursuant to RSA 76:13 . The selectmen or assessors shall send notice to the taxpayer of the amount credited against outstanding taxes and the date the credit was recorded.

Source. 1997, 241:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

76:13 Interest. – Interest at 12 percent per annum shall be charged upon all taxes except resident taxes, except as otherwise provided by statute, not paid on or before December 1 after their assessment , which shall be collected from that date with the taxes as incident thereto, except in the case where a tax bill sent to the taxpayer on or after November 2 and before April 1 of the following year interest shall not be charged until 30 days after the bills are mailed. Interest due in an amount up to $25 may be waived by the collector, with the approval and consent of the board of selectmen and the board of assessors, if in the collector's judgment the administrative and collection costs involved do not warrant collection of the amount due . The tax collector shall state on the tax bill the date from which interest will be charged and such date shall be determined by the day the collector sends out the last tax bill on the list. The collector shall notify the board of tax and land appeals in writing of the date on which the last tax bill was sent.

As per state statute the Windsor selectmen can not “ABATE” taxes owed/never paid, nor can they “WAIVE” any interest over $25.00.

They can only FORGIVE the taxes owed and should do this only for just cause such as a change or mistake in property assessment.

I would love to hear that reasoning for forgiving what totaled about $20,000.00 in past due taxes but the Windsor Selectmen aren’t talking very much now.