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Democratic Town Chairman In Hartford Owes More Than $3,000 In Motor Vehicle Taxes

STEVEN GOODE

January 18, 2010

HARTFORD - Democratic Town Committee Chairman Sean Arena is on the hook for more than $3,000 in motor vehicle taxes owed to the city dating back to 2006.

The taxes on two cars registered in Arena's name were retroactively placed on Hartford's tax rolls last week by city Assessor Lawrence LaBarbera.

"You pay taxes in the town you live in," LaBarbera said Friday, adding that state statutes allow municipalities to go back three years to collect taxes owed.

Arena, who said he has not received a tax bill yet from the city, has insisted that even though the cars in question were registered in New Canaan in his name, they were bought for and driven primarily by his mother, who lives in New Canaan.

"I will wait to get the documents first, but I do not plan on paying taxes in Hartford and in New Canaan," Arena said.

LaBarbera said Arena could apply to have the taxes he paid in New Canaan refunded and can also appeal the city's decision to reinstate the vehicles to Hartford's tax rolls to the board of assessment appeals in March.

The city learned through Kevin Brookman's blog on city issues, We The People that Arena and his brother, Ralph, owned cars registered in New Canaan .

Hartford Tax Collector Marc Nelson said he has 30 days to send out new bills to Arena, and then Arena has 30 days to pay them before interest begins to accrue.

Ralph Arena, who is also a Democratic town committee member, had two vehicles registered in New Canaan that were also retroactively placed on Hartford's tax rolls. According to city records, Ralph Arena owes more than $2,000 in taxes on those cars dating back to 2006

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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