Lam: Back Taxes Will Be Paid

Norwich - Downtown developer Janny Lam said Tuesday she will pay off all back taxes owed according to her payment plan with the city, and she's already has made two payments.

Lam owes a total of $66,856. A higher total reported in Tuesday's Day was erroneous.

Lam said she has been hurt by the economy as much as other businesses. She said her business partners have not paid their share of expenses, and some tenants have fallen months behind on rent.

Lam owes taxes on 18 properties mostly located downtown and in Jail Hill. The delinquent taxes were reported by city Tax Collector Kathy Daley Friday. The taxes totaled $31,030 on properties owned by Lam's Boswell Properties LLC and $35,826 owed by Washington Enterprises LLC.

On Tuesday, Lam disputed parts of the memo from Daley. She said the totals include current taxes due in January that are not overdue. In December, city attorney Amee Wickless offered Lam a monthly payment plan, totaling $4,400 per month. Lam said if the attorney hadn't offered the payment plan, she would have tried to pay the entire back bill.

She said she already has made two payments, totaling $8,800, rather than the one payment Daley wrote in her memo. The payments were made to the city attorney.

Lam also disputed the $7,389 in taxes and $290 in refuse fees accrued on a small, landlocked vacant house at 9 Fountain St. Lam said she unsuccessfully challenged the taxes on the house - appraised at $127,000 and assessed for $89,000 in the new revaluation - because the property has no driveway and is in disrepair. She then offered the house to the city.

She said the refuse assessment is ridiculous, because the house is vacant and generates no garbage.

The back taxes could hamper Lam's efforts to be named preferred developer for the city-owned Reid & Hughes building on Main Street. Lam said that would not be fair, because she has a payment plan set up by the city and will pay off the taxes. The City Council on Monday will discuss the Redevelopment Agency's recommendation to negotiate with Lam.

Lam said she has good ideas for downtown and has worked hard during the past 10 years to renovate buildings without any grants from the city.

”I never got any money from the city,” she said. “I do a building and then refinance and invest again in another building.”

Her proposal for the Reid & Hughes calls for an $800,000 renovation to bring a grocery store to the main floor and apartments in the upper stories. Lam said she has made several contacts with Asian grocery store owners in New York to try to entice them to coming to Norwich.
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