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Tax Evaders Should Be Held Accountable, But At What Cost?



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To the Editor:

I appreciate town officials seeking solutions for tax collection and at face value Capital Tax Recovery (CTR) sounds sensible. Tax evaders should be accountable. Yet taking a deeper look at this particular solution of hiring private investigators to drive our streets tracking license plates, it unravels for me.

I’m pretty sure if more citizens were following this topic, there would be questions about how completely informed our town officials are, current and former 1st selectman chief among them, about CTR. At the very least, questions by the Legislative Council (LC) would not be dismissed as unhelpful or intrusive by Mr Capeci, our top paid elected official, answerable, not just to the public, but to an LC before whom he placed his appropriation request to fund this outsourcing.

Shouldn’t town officials want the public to know how thoroughly a private investigation company has been vetted, or why their stakeouts scanning license plates for tax cheats at the expense of our privacy and control over collected data is the sole option, or why the financial health and motivations of a company that is supposed to indemnify the town in case of wrongfully targeted citizens is germane?

What’s CTR’s comprehension of Newtown’s demographics that makes us believe they can recover sizable tax dollars for the price of public surveillance in a town that has no high volume commercial areas like Brookfield, Danbury or Bethel that make it more immediate to gather hits? Why did CTR choose to withdraw rather than answer further questions that could address opposition? They even cite their lack of awareness of Newtown’s lack of density as a reason for withdrawal, which is contrary to their marketing pitch of how well they know Newtown.

I think more people than believed by town politicians would disagree with LC member Chris Gardner’s view of surveillance which he asserted at last LC meeting is not his concern. He and some others on LC want CTR brought back with, I assume, an intention not to ask any questions the private investigators don’t wish to answer.

Maybe this outsourcing will be a wonderful and lucrative approach to tax collection and wash away the gaping non-answers from our potential private eyes and 1st selectman. But I am disappointed that layering more surveillance into our lives is taken so lightly and manipulated into the LC having no business to delve into an appropriation request worthy of complete answers.

Please review LC chair Keith Alexander’s response to Dan Rosenthal’s Bee letter which is attached to the 2/7/24 LC minutes online (Page 8). It went unmentioned by this publication.


Barbara Wojcik

Sandy Hook

A letter from Barbara Wojcik.
Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. beebee says:

    If everyone paid their taxes this wouldn’t be an issue.
    Mr Capeci is not the “top paid elected official” in town, you should research who is….

  2. qstorm says:

    State law requires out of state vehicles domiciled in CT be registered in 90 days. Even leased vehicles. Proper registration would inform the Assessor. Problem solved. I see lots of out of state tags in my neighborhood for vehicles that came in during the COVID frenzy. Also quite a number of Vermont tags.

  3. talger says:

    I attended the council meeting when your husband, recently resigned council member steve hindman, clearly expressed his disdain for hiring the company before he asked questions and was not interested in learning how they could possibly help the town collect tax from people who avoid paying taxes. I clearly remember him saying something to the effect of “I think this whole thing stinks.” Asking a company to provide their financial records to the town council was completely inappropriate. He proved he was either trying to push them away or proved he was incompetent to be a council member in the first place. Did he know that if the company submitted the financial information to the council it automatically becomes public record under the Freedom of Information Act? What company on earth would subject themselves to that and put their financials out there for anyone to see? Whether or not the company was hired, our town is better off without council members like Hindman who put their personal agenda before what’s best for the entire town.

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