05/28/17 — Council member's wages garnished for taxes

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Council member's wages garnished for taxes

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on May 28, 2017 12:25 AM

The Wayne County Tax Department has started garnishing Goldsboro Councilman Antonio Williams' pay for failure to pay vehicle taxes dating back to 2010.

Williams, who receives a city council biweekly paycheck, will have 10 percent of his wages garnished from each check until his tax debt of $248.84 is paid in full, said Vicky Granillo, collection division manager in the county tax office.

The tax office mailed a wage garnishment letter to Williams and the city of Goldsboro on May 17, according to the letter.

Scott Stevens, city manager, confirmed that the garnishment of Williams' wages started Friday.

"The tax garnishment started this payroll," on May 26, Stevens said.

Williams, as well as other members of the city council, excluding the mayor, receive $9,000 in annual pay. The mayor receives more, $11,400, but has earmarked his pay to fund the city's star award program.

Williams receives a portion of his annual salary in the biweekly checks.

Employees in the county tax office recently found the unpaid vehicle taxes during an effort to clear out unpaid accounts, Granillo said.

"We were going through delinquent (records) for everyone in the county and trying to clear some stuff up," she said.

The garnishment notice shows two accounts for Williams that had unpaid vehicle taxes, with $101.96 owed on one account and $146.88 owed on the other.

Privacy laws prevent the tax office from disclosing the type of vehicles in customer accounts, Granillo said.

Williams is the only member of the council who is having his wages garnished by the tax office, Stevens said.

"This was the only garnishment that we received for a council member this calendar year," Stevens said.

Williams also faced property foreclosure last year after the county tax office exhausted efforts to recover thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes on Williams' property at 143 N. Center St.

Williams and Akeata Moore, co-owners of the property, agreed in October to pay off the tax debt by April 1.

The county dropped the foreclosure proceedings after Williams and Moore paid $3,423 in delinquent taxes and accrued interest, from 2011 through 2016, and $1,080 in legal fees attached to the foreclosure case.

Williams was not available for comment.