Wiggle Room Removed
by Thomas MacMillan | Oct 17, 2012 12:00 pm
Posted to: City Hall
People looking to prove that the city can’t tax them for cars they no longer own have a new law on their side.
The Board of Aldermen Monday night approved an ordinance amendment laying out a list of documents that the city tax assessor is required to accept as proof of the transfer of a motor vehicle when a taxpayer is trying to prove she no longer has to pay taxes on her car.
The proposal came out of the tax controversies of two years ago, when the assessor’s office came under close scrutiny following allegations of rude, capricious, and incompetent dealings with city taxpayers. Read all about it here.
Among the complaints were those from people who said they had sold their car, received a tax bill anyway, and then been rebuffed by the assessor when they tried to prove the car had been sold. Click here to read about an example involving a Harley.
The problem, according to the ordinance amendment proposal approved Monday night, was that city ordinances did not include a list of acceptable documents proving transfer of ownership.
“This was a big issue for taxpayers for the last three years,” said Wooster Square Alderman Mike Smart, chair of the Tax Abatement Committee. What documents were acceptable was up to “the mood of the assessor,” he said.
The new ordinance amendment addresses that problem by enumerating acceptable documents. They are:
a) a bill of sale,
b) signed copy of title,
c) certified letter of transfer,
d) registration to another state
e) lease termination document,
f) salvage certificate,
g) plate return receipt
h) proof of date of repossession.
“I think this is a win for taxpayers,” Smart said.
Tags: michael smart, tax assessment, tax assessor
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