20 Aug 2014
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All Tax Delinquent Trumbull Employees Probed; No One Targeted

First Selectman Tim Herbst says the procedure is routine. But the Teachers Union president said teachers were upset.

All Tax Delinquent Trumbull Employees Probed; No One Targeted All Tax Delinquent Trumbull Employees Probed; No One Targeted

First Selectman Tim Herbst has assured all Trumbull teachers and school officials who live in town that they are not being targeted in a delinquent tax probe of town employees.

He spoke in response to a letter from the Teachers Union president. He said he had not been contacted before the letter.

Herbst said town employees from police officers to public works staff are being scrutinized to ensure their taxes are up-to-date.

"We started at Town Hall," Herbst said Tuesday night. "Teachers are not being targeted."

Tammy Baillargeon, president of the Trumbull Education Association, said, "I had a lot of teachers that were really upset" because of the probe.

Any employee found owing will go through the normal collection process for any taxpayer, Herbst said.

In a Sept. 29 email to Herbst, Trumbull High School Teacher and Town Council Candidate Gregg Basbagill wrote:

"I guess the reason why it is difficult and confusing is because no one I have spoken to can remember a request of this kind in the past. Also, given Trumbull's very high rate of tax capture, it seems somewhat of an odd request. Why, for example would it matter who the employers of tax delinquents are? If anything, I would think that members of the town's various unions have relatively stable paychecks and are probably among the most reliable tax payers."

Bill Holden, the republican registrar and an experienced town official, replied, "I don't recall something as specific as this having been done before."

But, he added:

"The town used to publish lists of delinquent taxpayers and those lists were routinely published in newspapers. The list did NOT include someone who may have forgotten to pay a bill or were a little behind. They were more like someone who was more than a year behind in paying taxes. I do remember public officials appearing on the delinquent list and am not sure about town employees, as most of their names were unfamiliar to me," he said.

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