Liverpool approves tax amnesty program

EAST LIVERPOOL — City taxpayers can now take advantage of a new amnesty program approved Tuesday night by city council that will allow them to avoid all interest and late payment penalties this year.

The amnesty program was recommended by tax Commissioner Linda Harpold and goes into effect for taxpayers who pay all their delinquent taxes, which she has said can mean a substantial savings.

Taxpayers will still have to pay the late filing penalty if it applies, which was $25 per year beginning in 2012 and changing to $25 per month in tax year 2016, up to a maximum of $150.

Harpold had advised council’s finance committee she believes the amnesty program may be more attractive to taxpayers now due to them being able to use credit cards to pay.

Council made no comment in unanimously approving the ordinance under suspension of rules. The amnesty program is in effect until April 17 of this year.

Also approved was an ordinance authorizing an agreement with the city’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to sell or exchange the former East End fire station on Pennsylvania Avenue, which has been closed for several years.

The station was actually demolished yesterday by Pusateri Excavating due to its deteriorated condition, according to Service-Safety Director Brian Allen, who said, “It was actually split down the middle.”

Plans call for the CIC to negotiate with Tri-State Ford (formerly Grand Ford), located next door, so the property can become part of that business’ display area, Allen said.

Councilman Ray Perorazio, a retired city firefighter, said, “From 1950 until today, it served us well. It was hard to see it smashed.”

Fire Chief Bill Jones agreed, but said, “Hopefully, the property will be put to good use again.”

This leaves just the vacant Pleasant Heights station not in use and still up for grabs, with the North Side station being put into use as part of the recently approved private-public ambulance service the city will implement.

President of Council John Torma reported he has chosen Councilman Jeff Kreefer, who chairs the safety committee, as spokesman for an ad hoc committee he plans to form to address issues related to the Heritage Thermal Services company in East End.

He said once he meets with Kreefer, the ad hoc committee will be established. This is in response to the Save Our County environmental group petitioning city council to investigate alleged violations and penalties assessed against the hazardous waste incinerator.