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Oh lord.

Look who didn't pay his taxes

By Patrick Kerkstra

Inquirer Staff Writer
Earlier this month, when Mayor Street announced an aggressive new city plan to go after tax scofflaws, he warned: "We will spare no one."

He could have started by looking in the mirror.

Until last week, Street was $4,798.99 in arrears on his property-tax bills for two North Philadelphia properties. He paid up Thursday, shortly after a Daily News reporter asked him about the debt.

Street spokesman Joe Grace said yesterday that Street did not know taxes were owed on the properties.

"The mayor did not receive any notices. He did immediately satisfy the bill when it was brought to his attention," Grace said.

Neither of the properties is Street's primary residence; Grace said he thought both residences were unoccupied. Street owns both the properties jointly. One, on the 1400 block of North 15th Street, is owned by Street in trust for his son Sharif. The other, on the 2500 block of Nicholas Street, the mayor co-owns with a nephew.

Grace said the mayor's experience raised the concern that owners of more than one property could be in arrears and not know it if delinquency notices aren't sent to the primary address.

He urged owners of more than one property to contact the Department of Revenue at 215-686-6442 or revenue@phila.gov to ensure that notices are sent to the correct address.

When Street announced the stepped-up delinquent-tax collection program earlier this month, he predicted it would generate $235 million over the next five years, to be split between the city and the school district.

About 25 staffers will be added to the city Law Department to manage the program, and the Texas collection firm Linebarger, Groggan, Blair & Sampson has already been sending dunning letters to delinquents.

Grace said he was "reasonably confident" that the collection firm or the Law Department would have sent a letter to Street's primary residence before the properties were seized.

"If you receive a notice, pay attention to it. The city is serious about this program," Grace said.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC)
He's such a douche
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )