Sunday, January 29, 2012

Got a response......sort of

Well, my first email to the Mayor asking for Councilman Riddick's resignation has thus far garnered this as a  response.

But my second email to the city manager's office resulted in another acknowledgement AND the following email response from Sharon McDonald:

Mr. Kinnear---I have received a copy of your inquiry from the City Manager’s office and have been asked to reply because my office handles the assessment of business taxes and the renewals of business licenses.  You ask two questions which I have paraphrased below:

  1. Because the COR office reported that Mr. Riddick is delinquent in his taxes, why have his wages not been garnished to pay the outstanding taxes?
  2. Why was Mr. Riddick issued a renewal of his business license even though he was delinquent in his taxes? 

The first question is best answered by the Norfolk City Treasurer but I am going to take a stab at a reply because you have been waiting some time for one.  I believe the CT will tell you that the delinquent taxes that are mentioned in the news article are related to Mr. Riddick’s business and not to him personally.  Therefore, I believe it would not be possible for the CT to garnish his wages because there are no personal tax delinquencies.  I am, however, copying CT Tom Moss on this reply and he may wish to provide further enlightenment on the matter. 

The answer to your second question is that recently the City Council passed an ordinance which prohibits the renewal of a business license unless all applicable taxes are paid.  This calendar year (2012) is the first year that this ordinance will be in effect.  If Mr. Riddick has not paid the delinquent taxes and/or reached some sort of payment arrangement with the CT, my office will not renew his business license for 2012.  However, my office does not have the enforcement capabilities to close a business if it is operating without a license.  There is, of course, a possibility that this may occur.  The deadline for renewing a business license without penalty is March 1. 

I hope these answers appropriately address your concerns.  If, however, you wish to continue this discussion, please feel free to email me directly.  

Thank you. 

Sharon M. McDonald
Norfolk Commissioner of Revenue
(757) 664-7888
(757) 635-0040

That was nice  to get a response.  While infuriating, I guess I can accept the co-mingling of personal and business assets has to remain independent.  But the business license answer is crazy.  Does that mean prior to this year if I owed the city $10K and applied for my license renewal, it would have been granted?  So I sent Ms. McDonald, the following email:

Ms. McDonald,

Thank you for your timely response.

My question now is, prior to the passing of this ordinance, what has been the city’s response to delinquent business taxes?  If license renewal has been independent of tax collection, what has been in place to require payment of taxes?


Adam Kinnear

I will let you know if I hear anything back. 

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