Freshman state Rep. Tarah Toohilâ??s opponent in the November election has launched an attack on the tax payment record of Toohilâ??s parents, accusing them of â??blatant disregard of for their community.â?
Ransom Young, a Democratic Butler Township supervisor challenging Toohil in the 116th District, based the attack on a tax sale notice published in The Times Leader on Friday. It listed two parcels of vacant land owned by Toohilâ??s parents, Peter and Barbara Toohil, as eligible for tax sale on Sept. 20.
Young published the accusation in a press release sent to The Times Leader and on his campaign Facebook page.
According to county records, the properties in question are parcels of vacant land on either side of Peter and Barbara Toohilâ??s home on Old Turnpike Road, where Tarah Toohil also lives. Both parcels have since been removed from the tax sale list after the delinquent 2010 property taxes were paid.
Toohil, R-Butler Township, rebutted the accusation, calling it â??an all new low in politicsâ? and accusing Young of â??attack(ing) my mother and my father, private citizens, for political gain.â?
She accused Young of defaming her parents and said her residence was never on the delinquent list. Luzerne County records show no delinquent taxes are owed on Peter and Barbara Toohilâ??s home.
â??I demand that Mr. Young cease and desist from telling lies about my parents,â? Toohil said in a statement. â??A public apology to my mother and father is in order. My mother and father are good people and they are not part of the public eye.â?
The tax sale notice published Friday reported the Tax Bureauâ??s total claim on the properties, including 2012 taxes and recording fees, as $5,623 for one property and $5,015 for the other.
Luzerne County records, current as of Tuesday, show Peter and Barbara Toohil paid $577 to clear the 2010 taxes for one property on Aug. 14, after the county Tax Claim Bureau had submitted its tax sale notice to The Times Leader for publication. They paid $730 to clear their 2010 taxes on the second parcel on Tuesday, after the advertisement had appeared in the newspaper.
The Toohils still owed $1,630 on one property and $1,484 on the other in delinquent 2011 taxes as of the close of the business day Wednesday, but the parcels are no longer eligible for tax sale because they cannot be posted for sale until they have been in delinquency for two years.
After he was informed of the payments, Young stood by his earlier accusation.
â??When youâ??re an adult living with your parents you step up and help out your parents in a time of need,â? he said. â??â?» I have nothing to gain by them not paying their taxes. The only thing I have to gain as a township supervisor is having more money for the township and the school district having more money to pay their expenses.â?