The following is a message from the First Selectman's office regarding your tax bills and why it includes a P.O. Box in New Jersey.
Here is the full release:
The new fiscal year began on July 1st, and every taxpayer in the town of Southbury received their new tax bill in the mail, with a bit of a surprise to some: the return address for making tax payments by mail is a Post Office Box in New Jersey.
Why New Jersey? A key recommendation to the Board of Finance by the auditors from Cohn and Reznick, was to use a “lockbox” for tax collections to conform with best practices in the world of municipal tax collection.
This improves the internal controls and reduces the financial risk to the Town. Our Board of Finance concurred and we have contracted with Wells Fargo to provide this service after reviewing bids from various financial institutions.
Their “lockbox” location happens to be in New Jersey. Another option was a Stamford address, however, the town would have had to wait a day to access the funds. A Southbury address was not an option.
This is another step in the process of taking a pro-active approach to minimizing the town’s risks and liabilities. The summer intern that usually is hired to help in the tax office was eliminated in this year’s budget process, which will offset some of the extra cost of the lockbox service.
Before making this decision, the Board of Finance considered all the costs and weighed the risks and determined this was the approach that made sense for the Town of Southbury.
This process is similar to the one used when paying a credit card bill; even though the card may have been initiated at a local Southbury bank branch, the monthly credit card payment goes to that bank’s processing center, usually in another state.
If there are any lingering concerns about this process, please call the First Selectman’s office at 203-262-0647.