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BETTER PAY UP: Landlords Who Owe Taxes Are Being Denied Rental Licenses, No Eviction Rights

Department of Licenses and Inspections commissioner Carlton Williams contacted Philadelinquency to let us know a promised computer system meant to block the issuance of licenses, in particular the Housing Inspection License, has resulted in landlords having their rental license permits being thrown in the wastebasket because they owe back property tax.

As you know, this is an issue that PDQ has been pushing hard for years.  In 2013 and 2014, Philadelinquency was sending lists of many landlords throughout Philadelphia to L&I with proven tax arrears, inquiring why L&I had renewed the rental licenses when the Philadelphia Code forbids the license to be issued.  The reason for that is that L&I has limited visibility into the Revenue Department’s systems and it’s not standard procedure to look into their data.  Instead, L&I demands that permit applicants obtain a tax clearance certificate, which isn’t that difficult to forge.

The amount of money that has been collected from deadbeat landlords has skyrocketed since the inception of the new computer checks.  Take a look:

Tax Revenue from Deadbeat Landlords

 

The Revenue Department has recovered nearly a million dollars from deadbeat landlords now that their rental applications have been blocked until they pay off the back taxes.

This isn’t the last of it though.   There are still more unregistered landlords throughout the city who do not obtain rental permits for their buildings.  There is another roadblock for those people:  evictions.    You cannot evict a tenant using Landlord-Tenant Court without showing the court a valid rental license that is in-force.

So any unlicensed landlord that is renting out property is taking a gamble that they will not ever need to use the eviction process.  Should they need to, the only way to get access to the courts is to pay off the real estate taxes before they can get a valid rental license.

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COLWYN’D OUT: Senator Tony Williams Makes a Peep, Then Deletes It, and the Voices of Colwyn Residents

There’s been some Facebook goings on over at Mayoral-hopeful Anthony Hardy WilliamsFacebook page after PDQ encouraged some Colwyn residents to send their wishes and pleas for help about the chaos in Colwyn.

Anthony Williams represents Colwyn in the Pennsylvania Senate, which is next door to Southwest Philadelphia, an area that Williams has been spending quite a bit of time campaigning in.

Yesterday, for a few brief hours Senator Williams put this statement up on his Facebook page before deleting it:

AH Williams Excuse

 

Philadelinquency asked former Colwyn boro manager Paula Brown what her thoughts on Williams and his leadership abilities.  She issued the following statement:

Senator Williams, in response to your ill thought response to Colwyn Borough and its crisis….”Let me be as direct as possible”to your non-involvement in the THEFT of over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in Colwyn Borough.  You call THEFT of over ONE MILLION DOLLARS “public embarrassment”?  IF that’s what you want to call it, then it speaks volumes…as you really are not directly in touch with your constituents and their needs or problems.

I find it suspect, to say the least, that instead of reaching out to the community, you give it a tongue lashing and throw the blame back on those who are trying to clean up this mess….SHAME ON YOU.

Although you did speak some truth in the comment you deleted…”I have been involved for a long time now supporting members of the local government”  That is very true.  For many years, since 2008, you have supported the “Lady Democrats” as they call themselves…the very ones, who falsified and forged bank documents to apply for OVER 11 Debit cards in their own names….you supported them, while they robbed the taxpayers blind.

“Latest controversy”…should be edited to “latest theft”.  “Embarrassing episodes”…should be edited to “criminal episodes”.  Resolutions to this should happen when the citizens say enough is enough….Well Senator, the citizens HAVE BEEN saying enough is enough!  Are you not listening or are you still being hoodwinked by your “friends”, the “local government”?

You call our criminal episodes “childish brawls”? You state “what I am witnessing”?  Have I missed you in “roll call”?  Are you here on the front lines with us or are you still taking a back seat?

Floundering by personalities, pride and egos?  Possibly on the side of the “Lady Democrats, but definitely not on the side of the officials who are cleaning up the mess of your friends.

We didn’t ask you to go out of your way.  We simply asked you to open the door for the State Attorney General’s Office.  Our Mayor tried to meet with you several times.  They gained one conference with your assistant.  The second conference never took place as he did not show up for a scheduled meeting with the Mayor and Councilman Brundage.

While you are out campaigning, let me apprise you of what is happening on the front lines and why we asked you to open the AG’s door for us.

Everyday, and I mean EVERY DAY there is violent, tumulotous behavior down here on the front lines.  So violent, that seven (7) borough managers were here in less than two (2) years.  That speaks volumes and it is the reason why over one million dollars was misappropriated and misspent.  For the last four years from 2010 to 2014 there was no borough manager or treasurer for that matter.

I was hired in January of 2014.  I was hired to be the borough manager because of my extensive experience, but more so because I had the guts to stand up to the bullying of Tonette Pray.  And because of that, I was able to sucessfully protect the integrity of the records.  I was able to search and find, thousands of documented evidence that proves hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent frivously for personal use, instead of paying the damn bills that were due.  And now, because this spending went WAY out of control, the good citizens of Colwyn Borough must now pay that back.

Senator, with all due respect, do you understand what it is like, to perform five jobs in a violent atmosphere? Do you understand what it’s like to be pushed up against a wall, reach over to the phone to call 911 and have it yanked out of the wall while you are on the phone with the dispatcher? By a person who towers over you?  Any other borough manager would have ran out the door. I stayed.  I stay because I have a  committment to the residents of Colwyn.  Are you aware that the borough hall doors were revolving on a consistent basis with residents coming in and out of the borough hall and finally for the first time in six (6) years, they received immediate service? These residents are so very appreciative and were sincerely happy that we took care of business as in prior years, they did not receive responses from officials.  They were too busy going to Feeklemoy’s Hair Salon on 68th Street or too busy going out to dinner or to the ATM machine making cash withdrawals every day.

Because the gravy train derailed in January of 2014, the “Lady Democrats” cannot access the free spending.   Furthermore, we needed you to reach out and open the AG’s door for us.  That’s all we asked.  We know this is a massive amount of crime. So much so that the district attorney had to farm out the State Ethic problems and let them investigate that portion.

The mayor did not feel the DA was capable of investigating every action here.  That’s why I suggested they reach out to you for assistance in gaining some type of conference with the AG.

Deleting messages from your constituents does not improve already strained releationships, nor does it serve justice by having state authoriities investigate the criminal end.

Paula M. Brown

FORMER Borough Manager/Treasurer/Secretary/Right To Know Officer

Borough of Colwyn

221 Spruce Street

Colwyn, PA 19023

610-637-1091

 

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Sawyer for Sheriff Launches Today – Tax Day

Schools on fire... again

Schools on fire… again

What better reminder of how crushing taxes can be than to get hit up by me asking for donations!  Hah.

Well, I know that sucks, but look:

  • We’ve had 3 property tax hikes since Nutter took office
  • Mayor Michael Nutter is now doubling down on the proposal to hike property taxes, AGAIN, claiming facetiously that it’s the “only way” to fund yet another huge school district deficit.

Meanwhile, City Council and the Nutter Administration are still happy as ever to let deadbeat landlords continue to pay little to nothing while at the same time they’re poised to start shaking down fixed-income seniors–hunting for any loose pennies in the vacuum cleaner bags.

Enough.

It’s on that dour note that my Sheriff’s campaign has now launched and I am now taking donations and volunteers.   With your help, I think we can capture and fix at least one part of the real estate tax deadbeat puzzle.

You can read what reforms I am proposing to do to the Sheriff’s Office here.

In addition to the campaign launch, we also have an office.  It’s at 2424 York Street, Suite 316, on the Fishtown/Kensington border.   If you want to reach Team Sawyer, the e-mail is phlsheriff@gmail.com

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DATELINE COLWYN: Boro holds secret meeting again to fire Paula Brown

To read all of PDQ’s coverage of the Crisis in Colwyn, click here.

Paula Brown, the fiery borough manager of Colwyn came out of her office to stand outside with supporters and curious residents as every TV news crew arrived to capture what has become America’s most dysfunctional municipality.

Inside a secret meeting where the public was kept out, the Borough Council reconfirmed local tax- deadbeat landlord Fred Lescher as Council President.

Colwyn is currently represented by State Senator Anthony Williams.

I asked Mayor Michael Blue and former council president Paul Meuser why Senator Williams, who is currently running for Mayor of Philadelphia, has not come to Colwyn to set order and help the struggling borough.

“We never see him here,” Meuser said, as Brown and a few other council member nodded their heads in agreement.

I tweeted this picture to @JoinTeamTony.  I certainly hope the senator isn’t too busy to give some time to his constituents he still represents.

Boro Council President Fred Lesher’s house at 118 Main Street, Colwyn PA looks like it’s eligible to go to Sheriff’s Sale soon..

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COLWYN CHAOS: Paula Brown Holds Up Boro Debit Cards Used for Hair Salon Trips

The meltdown in Colwyn continues

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