NORWAY – Hundreds of people have called the town office this week confused by a letter inquiring about their June property tax payments.
On Monday, the town mailed letters to 2,500 taxpayers in Norway as part of an ongoing embezzlement investigation and comprehensive financial audit.
Town Manager David Holt said he wants to reassure people that no one is expected to pay their taxes before the June deadline.
Rather, they are being asked to merely check their tax statements with what the town has calculated they owe. The figures were included in the letters.
Deborah P. Wyman, 51, of Harrison, for many years the town’s community development director, has been charged with theft of thousands of dollars from Norway over the past three years.
She is scheduled to be arraigned April 20 in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris.
Wyman not only handled grant money given to the town, she also accepted tax payments at the town office’s front window, Holt said.
“Although we have not found evidence that tax payments were tampered with, we’re trying to make sure that they weren’t,” Holt said.
Holt said taxpayers pay two bills per year: one in December and one in June. The letters sent Monday show the amount of taxes owed in June. If people notice that numbers are off, they should contact the town office or the auditor, who also sent a letter to taxpayers explaining why they were being asked to check their records.
“The only other complaint is we didn’t put postage on the envelope,” Holt said. “Had we done that with nobody needing to respond, it would have been wasteful. If anybody mails anything back we’ll gladly reimburse their postage. We appreciate their cooperation.”
Holt said, too, that if evidence warranted it, local companies that dealt with Norway’s community development program were also asked for information.