Ramapo Supervisor St. Lawrence owes $27,066 in back taxes--Pattern of being delinquent goes back 5 years
December 21, 2007 The Journal News reported today that Supervisor St. Lawrence "racked up overdue property-tax bills of $27,066, including interest and penalties on a rental house [he owns] in Montebello." Earlier this year, St. Lawrence's Village tax bill owed to Montebello was turned over to the County for collection because it had not been paid. What the Journal did not report was that refusing to pay his taxes on time has become a regular thing with the supervisor. The last time he paid his town taxes on time was in 2002. Here is the table from the Tax Office records from the Town of Ramapo. (All information was gathered this month from Town Records.)
In 2002 there was a full payment of 6,437.13 made on Sept. 27. The only other payment listed is a partial payment of about 3,000 paid against 11,849.13. The Base Paid and Total Owed for the rest of the years speak for themselves.
What happens when you don't pay your taxes on time is explained on back of your Town and School tax bills. You will be receiving your own bill within a matter of weeks, and if you turn it over you will see these procedures for delinquents:
School Tax Collection Periods--"School taxes are received from September 1st through October 1st without penalty. After October 1st, the Town Fee is deleted and a 5% late penalty is added. After October 31st, the School Tax Rolls are closed and the unpaid tax listing will be returned to the County Commissioner of Finance. Unpaid taxes are then re-levied onto the January County/Town tax bill with a 7% penalty."
County/Town Tax Collection Periods--"January 1 through 1/31 without penalty; Feb 01 through Feb 28 1% penalty; March 01 through April 2 2% penalty. After April 2nd, the Town tax rolls are closed, and the unpaid listing will be returned to the County Commissioner of Finance [for collection]."
The official collection agency for delinquents is the County, and the penalties after a year are liens against the property and then seizure and tax auction.
To round out the tax record for Supervisor St. Lawrence, here are copies of his Town and School Taxes for the rental house on Route 202:
To get the big picture on this shameful record consider the following. The Chief Executive Officer of the Town of Ramapo has refused to pay his taxes on time for the last five years. When you add up the amounts presented as due and subtract the meager payments of $2,962.29 and $3,496.83 you get a total of $88,029.24, the amount St. Lawrence has been delinquent paying. According to the town's rules, the entire matter has been turned over to the collection agency, the Rockland County Finance Department, and there's still an outstanding balance of $27,000. Within weeks, that total will have another $14,000 added to it with this year's Town levies. Kind of begs the question, "Will he pay this year's taxes on time, as the rest of us are expected to, or will he revert to form?" (We'll check back, or you can reference the Parcel ID and see for yourself. All of our tax records are in open public files at the Town Tax Office.)
One of the most surprising elements of the Journal story was St. Lawrence's reaction to the reporter's questions about these matters. "He didn't understand why there would be an interest in his tax situation. 'You have no legitimate stories to do?' he asked the reporter." Maybe the whole thing is as inconsequential to him as it was to Leona Helmsley a number of years ago.