By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Boro property owner asks for relief from penalties

 

August 31, 2021



The son of a Mt. Oliver property owner came to the Borough Council's August public meeting seeking relief from penalties his father had received on unpaid taxes and fees.

Monte Emamzadeh, son of Mehrouz Emamzadeh, explained they recently learned his father was suffering from dementia for several years. In that time, when he received a tax, garbage and other bills from his five or six Mt. Oliver properties he would mark the envelopes to "pay right away" and then file them away unpaid.

Monte Emamzadeh said that now the penalties are approaching 100 percent of the amount of the taxes and fees. When he went to the district magistrate's office, he learned there were also warrants out for his father's arrest connected with the code violations on the properties.


The younger Emamzadeh added his father didn't keep up with the rental properties and some were vacant and in bad shape and in the others the tenants hadn't been paying rent.

Acknowledging the taxes still had to be paid, he asked for relief on the penalties that were assessed noting he would have to pay them himself.

Borough Council President Amber McGough said before council could take action, they would need to learn which properties they were and the amount of the unpaid taxes and fees.

Monte Emamzadeh said arrangements have been made to sell all of the properties "as is, where is" with a closing scheduled before the end of August. However, since the council won't be able to take action until they learn the amounts of the penalties, a special meeting would have been required to hold a vote on the proposal.


To sell the properties, they would also have to be brought up to minimum code standards. It is also possible for the buyer to sign an affidavit stating after purchase they would meet those standards.

Mr. Emamzadeh said he would be willing to put the amount of the fines in an escrow account which could then be accessed later if that would allow the closing on the properties to go through.

Borough Solicitor Emily Mueller said although Mt. Oliver hasn't had this type of request since she's been the solicitor, other municipalities have.

She said a lot of people ask for waivers on taxes, for very good reasons but that it was hard for municipalities like Mt. Oliver because, "where do you draw the line?"

"In my experience, it's very uncommon for this type of request to be granted for this very reason because all of a sudden you're granting all kinds of requests," Ms. Mueller said.

Mr. Emamzadeh reiterated that he wasn't seeking relief from the taxes and fees, but from the penalties that were assessed against those taxes and fees.

Ms. McGough said they would get back to him after they gathered the necessary information and if needed, schedule a special meeting.

 

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