Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Another Business Personal Property Tax Question Complicated Mess

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  • Another Business Personal Property Tax Question Complicated Mess

    I've been searching through the threads, but really don't see this answered here. I worked in my family's small business (my father was the sole owner and proprietor) for most of my adult life. Then 2006 after my Dad passed away, my brother and I each continued until mid 2009 to operate two retail locations as one business, XYZ Co. (using my father's old tax id.) Then under the advice of an accountant, who advised us that this is almost illegal, we applied for and received 2 new tax id numbers. Naming one business: XYZ Co. of WhatCity and the other which was mine, XYZ Co. of AnyCity.

    Then, fast forward to June 2010, I had paid about 90% of the back rent owed to my business landlord, but it wasn't enough, and I had to close my retail location. My business is now about 1/10th of what it used to be, and it now basically consists of telephone ( I kept the old phone number) and internet sales.

    Then, of course with this drastically reduced income, and bills, bills, bills that I could never hope to repay, I filed for ch 13 end of Oct. 2010. The fiscal year 2010, business personal property taxes for $800 were listed.

    Then last year, at my business mailbox, I received a personal property tax bill for $450 on value of so called $14K, for personal property tax, for the address of the old location. I protested this with the tax collector, telling him that the location was closed, but he claimed that I still was responsible. It wasn't listed in my BK and it was a few weeks over into fiscal 2011, and at that time I was operating that business at that address on the bill. So I gave up and paid the $450 bill, and thought this was the end. But I'm wrong.

    Unfortunately, my house is in the same city where my old business location was. I just received my house tax bill, and it had the usual property tax bill, but at the bottom it stated that "previous years tax bills were past due."

    So I researched it, and found on the city's online database they were still trying to collect on the year that was listed in my bankruptcy, and they had added a new personal property tax bill for 2011 (their fiscal 2012) for the old vacated location. Then, a couple of days ago, I spoke with the Collector's Office Bankruptcy Dept. person, who said she'd research into taking the one listed in the BK off for me, but get in touch with the assessor's office and explain that there is no longer anyone there.

    Then I spoke to the Chairman Assessor, about the Fiscal 2012 bill for $400 and asked why am I still being billed for business property at that address, if I'm no longer there. He asked why had I answered my business phone XYZ Co. I told him that I now have only an internet business; my computer is 10 years old. I keep no inventory, if someone buys something on my website, I obtain it from a vendor and ship it. I had to leave furniture and fixtures of the old business behind, since I have no place to store anything. He said he'd look into it for me.

    So tonight, my tax bill that is listed in my bankruptcy is gone from the city's online database, but the new $400 bill is still there. My question is there anything else I can do to have them remove it? Is it common for cities and towns to try and lien these old bills onto people's property? I'm also afraid of having them send somebody here to sweep through my house, and try and call my broken down 40+ year old furniture a business asset.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but I just feel so overwhelmed at times with this stuff that never ends.

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