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County sues firms over taxes

October 07, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Washington County Treasurer Todd Hershey has filed suit against more than 150 local businesses who are delinquent on their personal property taxes.

The claims total more than $300,000, including interest.

Nearly half of that is owed by one taxpayer, Citicorp International Communications Inc. of Baltimore, which has failed to pay $145,036 for two years worth of taxes, Washington County Circuit Court records show.

The company is not affiliated with Citicorp Credit Services north of Hagerstown, spokesman Phil Kelly said.

The second-largest claim was filed against General Electric Capital Business Asset Funding Corp. of Baltimore for $35,434, records show.

The rest of the lawsuits were filed in Washington County District Court, which handles claims of less than $25,000.

Bankrupt retailer Ames Merchandising of Rocky Hill, Conn., owes the county $10,288, records show.

Hershey cracks down on the delinquent personal property taxpayers once a year by filing lawsuits, he said.

Last year, his office collected $12.8 million from the tax, which was about $1.3 million than was budgeted, he said.

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Washington County's personal property tax rate is $2.37 per $100 of assessed value; Hagerstown's is $1.83 per $100 of assessed value.

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