A former Frederick alderwoman now seeking a return to office saw her property go to tax sale Monday because she did not pay her property taxes.
Donna Kuzemchak was among 856 property owners in Frederick County on the list. She owes $3,860.27 in unpaid taxes and a fine for her house on Frederick Avenue, according to Diane Fox, Frederick County’s director of treasury.
“It’s an issue that I can’t pay my taxes,” Kuzemchak said in a telephone interview. “As you know, you can’t spend money that you don’t have. ... I do plan on having them paid.”
Kuzemchak, who moved to her house in 2007, said work in the real estate business has been slow this year, and she lost one of her jobs when the nonprofit she wrote grants for shut its doors.
“I’m not ignoring it at all,” Kuzemchak said. “I am doing the best that I can to get work, and I expect to be able to pay my taxes shortly.”
Fox said there was a bid on Kuzemchak’s lien. Now that the lien has been sold, Kuzemchak and the rest have until Sept. 13 to pay what is owed with interest before attorney fees are added. Lien buyers cannot seek to foreclose on a property until Nov. 13, according to Fox.
Interest, which goes to the lien holder, is added daily on the amount due.
“She can still come in and redeem the property,” Fox said.
The amount owed comes from Kuzemchak’s tax bill, which was mailed in July. It became delinquent March 15. Fox said a courtesy notice was sent to warn that the deadline was near and an official delinquent notice was sent to everybody. A list also appeared three times in The Frederick News-Post.
Kuzemchak and the others could have avoided a tax sale by paying what they owed before Friday.
Kuzemchak, an alderwoman from 1998 to 2009, has filed to run again this year and will be a Democratic candidate on the September primary ballot.
She expects her tax delinquency to be an issue during her campaign.
“I have no doubt that it will be used against me,” Kuzemchak said. “I’m just a normal person, and yes, this is an issue for me.”
As an alderwoman, Kuzemchak said she worked hard to represent the interests of the community.
“I am, unfortunately, one of the poor segments of (the) population,” she said. “It doesn’t change the fact that I can do the job well, and I have done it well in the past.”
Follow Pete McCarthy on Twitter: @FNP_Pete.