The city has suspended its controversial program of booting cars whose owners are behind on their vehicle taxes – but only until the end of the month.
Mayor Art Ward said that anyone who is more than six months behind in paying motor vehicle taxes should come in to the tax office and pay up or work out a payment schedule in order to avoid getting the boot come August.
The program collected $122,000 in two weeks of operation in June, Ward said, by forcing owners to pay their back taxes and a $175 fee to get the boot removed.
Greg Randall, a Bristol resident, lashed out at city officials at this week’s City Council session for adopting the hard-nosed approach during such tough economic times.
“I am very ashamed” to live in a town that forces “people that are struggling” to come up with money for rent and food to cough up tax dollars, Randall said.
“At the end of the day, they will be forced to starve while you sit here smugly enforcing this bogus law,” Randall said.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne fired back.
Cockayne said the city is not imposing new taxes, merely requiring that people pay what they owe.
“We’re asking them to abide by the law,” Cockayne said. “We need the money now.”
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