NEW HAVEN BOOTFINDER PROGRAM BRINGS IN MORE THAN $2.3 MILLION IN FIRST WEEK
(8/23/2007) 204 VEHICLE SEIZURES WITH MORE PLANNED THROUGHOUT THE NEXT FEW MONTHS
NEW HAVEN- One week into this year’s Bootfinder program, the New Haven Tax Collector’s Office has processed 2,495 payments from residents totaling $2,344,841. Since last Thursday’s program launch, 204 vehicles have been seized representing $63,829 in delinquent tax dollars. Of the 204 vehicles seized, 70 also had delinquent parking tickets totaling $12,904.
This is the City’s third year implementing the Bootfinder program. C.J. Cuticello, the City’s Tax Collector estimates that there are 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.
“At this point, we’ve more than covered the costs of carrying out this program,” said Cuticello. “We’re going to continue to use the Bootfinder through November seizing delinquent vehicles. While a good amount of residents who were behind on their tax bills came in during the first few days of the program, there are still nearly 20,000 who need to have their accounts squared away.”
During the first two days of the program, lines of residents trying to pay their tax bills led out of Cuticello’s office and circled around City Hall’s first floor atrium. Individuals who wanted to pay but who chose not to stand in line used the City’s online payment system at: www.officialpayments.com Residents who use the online service must refer to jurisdiction number 1729 to properly process their payment. Online payments take approximately three days to be applied to accounts.
Aside from the 204 seizures as of today, an additional 17 vehicles were seized because of outstanding parking tickets in excess of $200 per vehicle. These 17 seizures account for $7,477 in outstanding parking violations. Traffic and parking violations can be reconciled at the traffic office at 200 Orange Street.
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.
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.
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