NEW HAVEN BOOTFINDER PROGRAM TO GO AFTER 22,000 RESIDENTS WITH $4.5 MILLION IN DELINQUENT MOTOR VEHICLE TAXES
(8/16/2007) THIRD YEAR OF PROGRAM EXPECTED TO RECOVER RECORD AMOUNTS IN PAST-DUE TAX BILLS
NEW HAVEN- In its third year of the Bootfinder program, New Haven plans to go after approximately 22,000 residents who failed to pay their motor vehicle taxes by the July 1, 2007 deadline. The average delinquent resident owes the city $250. Last year, the City collected $3 million through the Bootfinder program; this year’s forecast is for $4.5 million. Despite the 22,000 delinquents, the City has reached a City-wide tax collection rate that exceeds 98 percent.
The Bootfinder program involves three units, each with a tow truck and a state marshal, covering 127 miles of New Haven streets to seize vehicles with outstanding tax bills. Each tow truck will have a bootfinder mounted on to it. A bootfinder is a “gun” that scans license plates and identified those vehicles with delinquent tax bills so that the tow trucks can seize the vehicles. Residents must pay motor vehicle taxes before they can retrieve their vehicles from towing companies. Residents will also have to pay the charges set by the towing companies before their vehicles are released.
“We’ll cover every area of this city, every neighborhood and every district to track down delinquent vehicles,” said C.J. Cuticello, New Haven’s tax collector. “This program has been successful every time we’ve run it and I’m confident that we’ll meet or exceed our goals this time around.”
If a resident’s vehicle is towed on a Friday after business hours or on a Saturday morning, tax bills can be paid at New Haven Police Headquarters at 1 Union between the hours of 9am and 1pm on Saturdays. If a vehicle is towed between Monday and Friday afternoon, tax bills are to be paid at the tax collector’s office in City Hall between 9am and 5pm.
The office of the tax collector will be working in conjunction with the department of traffic and parking to not only collect outstanding taxes but to also ensure that residents are paying for delinquent traffic and parking violations. Traffic and parking violations can be reconciled at the traffic office at 200 Orange Street.
Within the first two weeks of the Bootfinder program last year, the City collected enough money in back taxes to cover the expenses of the program.
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