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Tax Liens

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NEWS
November 21, 1991 | By Diane Mastrull, Special to The Inquirer
Michael Fabrikant flipped open his briefcase, broke the seal on a handful of business envelopes and peeled out lots of $100 bills - 131 of them, plus two twenties. For all that green - $13,126.78 - the Edison businessman bought tax liens to 11 properties in Franklin Township. He got back $13.22 in change. It was the largest purchase by the dozen bidders who participated last Thursday in the township's tax sale, which 25 people attended. In all, 400 properties, whose owners failed to pay in aggregate more than $200,000 in 1990 taxes, were offered for sale.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2005 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two dozen Philadelphia homeowners and foreclosure-relief advocates gathered outside yesterday's biweekly sheriff's sale in West Philadelphia to urge a New York company to relax its demands for cash from owners of thousands of city homes on which taxes are long overdue. Taxes from before 1997, run up in many cases by previous owners, are due not to the city but to MBIA Insurance Corp., of Armonk, N.Y. MBIA, a private firm, had guaranteed a $75 million bond issue by the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development in 1997.
BUSINESS
January 25, 1987 | By Richard Burke, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Darcus Neely put $10,000 of her life savings into an Individual Retirement Account, she never dreamed the Internal Revenue Service would one day slap a lien on the account and ask the bank to surrender the money. Provident National Bank, where Neely has her IRA, never thought that would happen either. But now both are involved with the IRS in a tug of war over the money. The dispute could have implications far beyond Neely and her account at Provident. Last week, a federal court judge in Philadelphia was asked to decide who is entitled to the money and to rule on whether IRAs, which are personal investment plans set up by individuals for their retirement, are exempt from tax liens filed by the IRS. Attorneys involved say Neely's battle with the IRS could become a test case for thousands of similar disputes across the nation.
NEWS
September 19, 1991 | By Michael A. Renshaw, Special to The Inquirer
Bucks County tax officials are blaming the economic downturn for a huge increase in property tax liens this year. "This is the most hectic year I've ever had," said Patricia Bachtle, director of the county Tax Claim Bureau. She has worked in that office since 1982. Bachtle advertised 1,700 parcels for tax sale this year, an increase of almost 50 percent over last year. The threatened action convinced hundreds of property owners to pay up to avoid the bang of the auctioneer's gavel, but there were still more than 1,000 delinquencies two weeks ago. On Friday, with the auction looming Monday, even more found the means to pay up. "On Friday, 560 property owners came in and paid.
NEWS
October 26, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA City Council gave its stamp of approval Thursday to the idea of selling liens held against tax-delinquent properties to private investors and collection agencies. In truth, the bill passed Thursday could wind up having no practical effect - the city already has the authority to sell its liens, and its Law Department opined last week that Council had no say in the matter. Councilman Bill Green said he sponsored the bill in part to spur the Nutter administration to consider using this tax collection "tool" - which has its share of critics.
NEWS
October 18, 1996 | By Mary Beth Warner, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT Inquirer staff writer Maureen Graham contributed to this article
Federal documents filed in Gloucester County showed that $104,011.11 in tax liens were filed against Gloucester County Democratic Freeholder Director James Atkinson by the Internal Revenue Service in 1994. Atkinson, who had been accused by Republicans of withholding information about those liens, yesterday was also accused of not paying unemployment insurance taxes, and not including income from his landscaping business on his 1994 county financial disclosure forms. Atkinson said in an interview Monday that he was only made aware of approximately $90,000 in tax liens against his assets in May, and has been working with the Internal Revenue Service since that time to rectify the problem.
NEWS
May 25, 1994 | By Dwight Ott, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The City Council is expected tomorrow to authorize a firm to take preliminary steps toward a sale of about $17 million in city liens to be purchased by a private corporation. The sale, if it goes through as hoped, would be modeled after the successful tax-lien sale conducted last year by Jersey City, which sold more than $40 million in liens on residential and commercial properties to a private corporation. The Camden sale would include sewer-tax as well as property-tax liens, officials said.
NEWS
June 26, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's auctioning of liens on tax-delinquent properties began Wednesday morning with what officials said was a quiet but promising start. More than 150 investors registered to participate in the online auction of 900-plus tax liens, all of which have a minimum bid requirement of the full delinquent property-tax bill plus interest. The liens are for property-tax bills that have gone unpaid for from two to 20 years. If successful, the sale of those liens could generate millions of dollars in city revenue.
NEWS
December 13, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A city tax lien sale brought faltering Atlantic City some pre-Christmas cheer Thursday - a $22 million tax bill from bankrupt Trump Plaza and Taj Mahal will be paid - but also some coal: Nobody bid on a $32.5 million unpaid tax bill from Revel. "I'm concerned," said the city's revenue director, Michael Stinson, after the four-hour sale, with a total of nearly $59 million in owed taxes on 1,000 properties, yielded at most half of that. Stinson said the tax sale plus an imminent $40 million note sale should be enough to get the city over the immediate 2014 budgetary crisis.
NEWS
March 20, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
After a decade of fighting Camden over outstanding tax liens it claims are unfair, Unity Community Center, the city's award-winning youth performing-arts group, finally celebrated a victory last week. But the joy might not last long. At last week's City Council meeting, President Frank Moran, following the lead of Councilman Brian Coleman, initiated "canceling interest and fees" for the tax liens on 1427 and 1429 Haddon Ave., a 7,000-square-foot property intended to be a multipurpose arts center for the nationally recognized group.
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NEWS
June 26, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's auctioning of liens on tax-delinquent properties began Wednesday morning with what officials said was a quiet but promising start. More than 150 investors registered to participate in the online auction of 900-plus tax liens, all of which have a minimum bid requirement of the full delinquent property-tax bill plus interest. The liens are for property-tax bills that have gone unpaid for from two to 20 years. If successful, the sale of those liens could generate millions of dollars in city revenue.
NEWS
June 25, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
At the eleventh hour, several community and nonprofit groups are crying foul over the city's plan to auction 938 tax liens - in an online endeavor that is to begin Wednesday and end Monday - in the hope of collecting millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes and related fees. The sale is for control of a tax lien - essentially a claim attached to commercial and residential properties and vacant lots with unpaid real estate taxes, not the property itself. The auction is a pilot program that could result in other lien sales, according to the Nutter administration.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council passed a package of tax increases Thursday that will hit a wide swath of the city's taxpayers while taking in an additional $70 million for the Philadelphia School District. Under the biggest piece of the plan - a 4.5 percent property-tax increase - the owners of a house assessed at $150,000 would see their tax bill go up $72 per year. Mayor Nutter signed the tax increases, as well as the city's annual operating budget, soon after Council approved them. He said the additional school funding was badly needed but still did not fill the district's deficit, leaving the burden to Harrisburg.
NEWS
June 18, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
'Have you no sense of decency, sir?" That question was asked in 1954 by Joseph N. Welch, special counsel to the U.S. Army, during a particularly vile interrogation by Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy in his witch hunt for suspected communists in government jobs. Today, it's the members of Philadelphia City Council who should be asked whether they have any decency. They are expected to vote Thursday on a tax package for public schools even though they know it falls short of what's needed to avoid more layoffs and crowded classrooms.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
CITY COUNCIL yesterday paved the way for Philadelphia's public schools to get millions more in new funding for next year, but far less than what had been requested by school officials - who weren't even clear on just how much money they'd be receiving. That lack of communication at a critical time in the school-funding process appeared to sum up the tattered relationship between Council President Darrell Clarke and Schools Superintendent William Hite. After two Council committees had completed their meetings, Clarke told reporters the bills that won preliminary approval would send $70 million to the school district, while an additional $30 million could be generated from the sale of tax liens.
NEWS
December 13, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A city tax lien sale brought faltering Atlantic City some pre-Christmas cheer Thursday - a $22 million tax bill from bankrupt Trump Plaza and Taj Mahal will be paid - but also some coal: Nobody bid on a $32.5 million unpaid tax bill from Revel. "I'm concerned," said the city's revenue director, Michael Stinson, after the four-hour sale, with a total of nearly $59 million in owed taxes on 1,000 properties, yielded at most half of that. Stinson said the tax sale plus an imminent $40 million note sale should be enough to get the city over the immediate 2014 budgetary crisis.
NEWS
December 2, 2014
CITY COUNCIL'S Public Property Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing today on a resolution to officially establish a Philadelphia Land Bank. The Land Bank law passed late last year. This new resolution takes it a step further and lays out a five-year plan on the goals of the new agency. We urge Chairman Bobby Henon and the committee members to approve the resolution and send it on to the full Council, where we also urge its passage before the end of this year. The legislation is crucial to the future of Philadelphia.
NEWS
August 15, 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to the Federal Trade Commission for its latest action that resulted in the closing of a company that was taking advantage of consumers looking for relief from their tax debts. The agency is giving back $16 million in refunds to more than 18,000 customers of American Tax Relief, which advertised heavily on TV, radio and the Internet. The company promised taxpayers overwhelmed with debts to the Internal Revenue Service that it could significantly reduce their burden.
NEWS
October 26, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA City Council gave its stamp of approval Thursday to the idea of selling liens held against tax-delinquent properties to private investors and collection agencies. In truth, the bill passed Thursday could wind up having no practical effect - the city already has the authority to sell its liens, and its Law Department opined last week that Council had no say in the matter. Councilman Bill Green said he sponsored the bill in part to spur the Nutter administration to consider using this tax collection "tool" - which has its share of critics.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia hasn't tried to sell off its property tax liens since a complicated and controversial deal during the Rendell administration left many people sour on the tactic. But now that the city has overhauled its property tax system - bringing renewed attention to its abysmal record of collecting those taxes - some proponents are trying to resuscitate the idea. Selling liens against tax-delinquent property has been a popular strategy in recent decades for cash-strapped cities.
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