Delinquent property taxes a factor for five Montville candidates

Montville - Five candidates for municipal office had overdue property taxes as of Tuesday, but two had paid the balance by the next day.

Chuck Longton, a Democratic town councilor who is running for re-election, paid $412.40 in overdue motor vehicle taxes on Tuesday. Taxes were due on July 1.

On Tuesday, when asked about his back taxes on the phone, Longton responded angrily and hung up. He later told The Day that his wife paid the taxes before he received the phone call but that they had not yet been processed because they were paid online. Online payments take about a day to process, according to Assistant Tax Collector Ellen Horne.

Republican Donna Jacobson, who is running for election to the Town Council, owes $52.39 on property at 423 Kitemaug Road and $205.59 on a vehicle.

Jacobson said she had been caught up in life events, including the birth of her first grandchild, and fell behind on her taxes. She described the property, which is not her home, as "a rock with a tree on it" that she inherited from her parents. The tax on the property is $50.13 a year.

Jacobson was a town councilor until 2011, when she ran for mayor and lost to Democrat Ronald McDaniel.

Republican Ellen Hillman, also a former councilor running for Town Council, owed a total of $233.30 on two motor vehicles.

Hillman said she lost her teaching job three years ago and now works in a doughnut shop, earning a salary that barely allows her to pay the rent. She said the recession is "affecting a lot of people in town" and that many are struggling to pay their property taxes.

"I see a lot of great waste" in government spending, said Hillman, who said she lost her council seat in the 2011 election. She said she pointed out the waste when she was on the council before, but that people did not listen. With the bad economy, Hillman said, maybe "now is the time when they are willing to listen."

Ann Mattson, a Democrat running for re-election to a two-year term on the Board of Assessment Appeals, owed $1,119.53 in taxes on property at 89 Park Ave. and $103.55 in motor vehicle taxes. Mattson said she was unaware of the balance and thought she was up to date on her taxes.

Joseph Aquitante III, a Republican running for a two-year term on the Board of Assessment Appeals, owed $258.73 in motor vehicle taxes. He said on Tuesday that he was unaware of the balance and would pay it the next day.

Horne confirmed that Aquitante paid the taxes on Wednesday morning.

k.catalfamo@theday.com

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