Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dems Offer Excuses For Unpaid Taxes

More than a week ago, Advance Indiana, disclosed a list of Marion Co. officeholders who were delinquent in the payment of their property taxes according to the online public records at Marion Co. Treasurer Mike Rodman's website. As I cautioned then, "I would note that it is possible that persons on this list have since taken care of their delinquency and the Marion Co. Treasurer's website hasn't updated their online database." "They'll need to take that up with Treasurer Mike Rodman's office," I added.

The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy follows up on that Advance Indiana post with a story in today's paper, which yielded a variety of responses from those on the list. Some of the folks are not the least bit happy with the Treasurer's office online database, which they contend has outdated information. "[Rozelle] Boyd and [Patrice] Abduallah were among several elected Democrats whose names popped up on local blogs as having been late in paying their tax bills, based on property tax records that had been posted on the treasurer's Web site until bills were due," O'Shaughnessy. Well, there is at least an acknowledgement the story came from "the blogs."

He takes Abduallah, in particular, to task because he took a trip to the Super Bowl last winter while his taxes were unpaid. O'Shaughnessy writes:

Abduallah said the money for the tickets and trip were a gift, so he couldn't have used the money to pay the $533 he owed at the time in property taxes on his District 15 home. He now owes $1,084.

"At the time, I didn't have any money," Abduallah said. "Someone graciously paid my way for those tickets."

Asked who paid for the tickets and trip, Abduallah said: "That's none of your business."

A Super Bowl ticket cost $600. How much his flight and accommodations might have cost was unknown.

Here's what the rest of the Marion Co. Democratic leaders had to say about their unpaid taxes:

City-County Councilor Rozelle Boyd: "Rozelle Boyd, a Democratic stalwart since the council was formed in 1970, also attended the February game in Miami. Records show he owed about $2,100 in taxes from last year at the time. Marion County treasurer's office records show Boyd paid his entire bill this month -- plus an overpayment of about $900. Boyd declined to say why he did not pay the November bill." "There's nothing to explain," he said. "The taxes are all paid, and this was handled in the same way as it would have been for any other citizen. There is no story."

Marion Co. Auditor Billie J. Breaux: "Treasurer records show Auditor Billie Breaux paid her November 2006 tax bill of nearly $600 on Dec. 21. However, Breaux, whose office processes tax exemptions and helps oversee the collection process, said she didn't recall paying her taxes late." "Maybe I got busy and didn't pay as close attention as I should, but it doesn't happen often," Breaux said. "As a responsible citizen, I take it very seriously to pay taxes on time."

City-County Councilor Lonnell Conley: "Records show Lonnell Conley, the Democratic majority leader on the council, owed nearly $1,500 last year. He paid most of what he owed in January and the rest earlier this month. "I know it's been paid," he said. "His name remained on the list, however, because the records are sometimes out of date and do not reflect recent payments."

Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer: "Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer said he refinanced his property last November, and the title company paid the mortgage a few days late. As a result, the Web site showed he owed about $1,300 last year." "Their system is totally wrong," Drummer said. "I've never been late in my property taxes."

Center Township Constable Tony Duncan: "Center Township Constable Mark "Tony" Duncan isn't happy about showing up on the list, either. He said he bought his mother's house from his sister this month and immediately paid the nearly $1,400 owed in last year's property taxes. The treasurer confirmed receiving the payment. "


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, so an elected official takes perhaps several thousands of dollars as a gift, and it's 'none of your business' who paid for them, as far as we who elected them are concerned. Sounds like GRAFT to me!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Abdullah took a bribe...did he cast votes for a Colts stadium, perks, etc?

"None of your business???" Sorry Abdullah, it IS the taxpayers business to know if their interests are being represented or if you are on the take, selling out our tax dollars for a fine time in Florida.

Anonymous said...

Carl's excuse sounds legitimate, actually. Damn it.

It is possible for a 20-year-old computer system in the treasurer's office to lag behind reporting of tax payments. I'll allow that there could be some one-time mixups. Carl's explanation rings true, but someone, please check it out. He has been known to stretch the truth before. And his ethical judgment is lacking--remember, he uses public buildings to store his personal vehicles for long periods of time, and sees nothing wrong with it.

But Patrice--well, thank God he's moved on to other activities. If he were indeed a man of faith, he'd honor his faith by committing to honesty and public service. He serves neither by going to the Super Bowl on the suygat teat of an anonymous donor, while he can't pay his taxes.

His sense of priorities, news judgment and values, is completely off the charts.

He had no business on the council. This proves it.

Has he no shame?

Also, nice deflection, Rozelle. You've been on the public payroll your entire adult professional life, and you can't pay your taxes on time? That cushy IU job was essentially a 20-hour-ork week. Tsk tsk.

Anonymous said...

Carl Drummerhad a $25,000 IRS Tax Lien in 1996 against his home in Lawrence Township when he ran for the office using Julia Carson's address on Park Avenue. He was a deputy constable in Center Townshp at the time. No, he did not always pay his taxes on time!

Anonymous said...

So, Carl lies. Tell me something new.

Look, his days, as well as the days of township government, are numbered. We all know it.

And when he cannot deliver large amounts of fee business, his Ice Miller buds, in whose suite he sits at games, will throw him under the bus like yesterday's newspaper. Cause he brings nothing else to the table for them. Not a damned thing.