Candidate owes unpaid property taxes

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.

(33) comments

backroomfrederick

People desperate for money make easily swayed politicians.

sej58

Hey averageterp ever heard of unemployment as for a reason not being able to pay your bills? Thats the real world.

michellesweet

I don't know what political party Donna is associated with and I don't live in the city, but I have to say that it is refreshing to hear of a politician who lives like the average normal person. I am so tired of wealthy, pompous, arrogant politicians who can't relate to their constituents and what they are going through. Donna can represent her constituents with a real understanding of what they are going/have gone through. I lost my job just like Donna, and without my husbands income we would most likely be in the same position she is. Just because a person is having financial difficulties at a given time does not mean they are financially irresponsible in their career. Being in the accounting field 18+ years I have witnessed people who can't manage a dime of thier money but have no problems managing millions for a business. Since the paper doesn't mention any previous deliquencies I can only assume this is the first she has not paid her taxes in a timely manner.

averageterp

At least make an effort and go in today and pay what you can towards the debt, even if its only 50 dollars

averageterp

The ONLY justifyable reason for not paying bills is:
1) sudden medical expenses
2) nasty, lengthy divorces

Donna, the comment "I hope you all never go through this" is nothing but a pitty party for yourself.

I DID go through it.

My income dropped by over 50%.

No one made me sign all those finance agreements. It was my own doing. And foolish.

What would your grand parents say about you having a hefty car payment, multiple car payments, fancy televisions, and a wallet filled with credit cards????? My grandparents would faint and think I'm a naive idiot.

No one needs a new car. The manufacturers all sell brand new replacement engines and transmissions. There are body shops all over the place that can put a fresh coat of paint on it. And plenty of tire shops that would love to sell you new tires. And PepBoys has all sorts of neat smelling air fresheners to make it smell good inside.

Donna, you have yet to take responsibility for your bad judgement. Your actions.

Call me a hater Donna. Thats right, i hate excuses. been there done that. Never have I blamed anyone or anything.

I'm reminded of Marian Barry......

averageterp

I have been through hard times. I have had collectors calling me for money.

But I never blamed the "real estate" market.

I never blamed anyone.

I blame myself for having a stack of payment books on the counter.

Donna - here is a question, since i know youre reading - what are you driving for a vehicle - year make and model?


And as far as fighting Pleasants on the dollar amount they wanted for the farm - Pleasants is a business. Mr pleasant bought that property solely for making money. You can't blame the guy. It's nice of Donna to stand up to him, but why couldn't the city just seek a farm elsewhere? It was foolish for the city to insist on THAT farm.

sej58

Donna your character and knowledge will get you through. EVERYONE has hard times and you are taking responsibility which speaks VOLUMES! Other certain elected officials try and always blame others for what they do even if its illegal. Go figure!

Newthinking7

Well put. You have my vote and many others. Now lets talk about this mess that is going on in Hilcrest.. The rental issue continues to be a nightmare with the very same problems you remember.

Donna K

Thanks to those who have been understanding. To those who haven't, I understand some of your concerns. I did have a financial plan. Unfortunately, that plan didn't include losing one well paid job and dealing with a poor Real Estate market. Fortunately, the Real Estate market has picked up and I recently started a third job again. It's a much lower salary than the one I lost, but it's a good job and I don't sit around and gossip at work - I work hard when I'm there. To those who think I'm a loser or am not taking responsibility because I have hit hard times, I hope you never have to deal with anything like this. It would also be really nice if more people were willing to put their lives in a fishbowl for all to see and run for office to make a difference. I understand that all can't. But some just like to attack those in office because there are no consequences for them. They often don't even use any part of their name that might identify them in posts like these. I find that sad. Democracy is not a spectator sport and I've chosen not to just be a spectator. Please get involved. If you have a candidate you like, help them. If you don't like the politics of another, please address the issue you disagree on instead of just calling them names. And please get your facts straight...I did not 'consistently support more and higher taxes." It's in the record if you would take the time to read it. All people have a right to be heard. I hope to represent people of all income groups. I've gone from a much higher income to not being able to make ends meet so I know what many are dealing with. I am willing to lay it all out and let the voters decide. Honesty (even in times of distress) is truly the best policy.

public-redux

"some just like to attack those in office because there are no consequences for them. They often don't even use any part of their name that might identify them in posts like these. I find that sad"

I would think that you would find it helpful.

If I understand you (and others) who object to anonymity, you believe that people would not write some of the things they do if they weren't anonymous. I suspect that you are correct.

However, that would not stop people from thinking what they really think nor acting on what they really think. If I were either a candidate for public office or an office holder, I would rather know what people really think rather than only what they are willing to say publicly. You might want to look up the Bradley Effect.

Anonymity promotes honesty. Which I'm pleased to see that you favor -- or so you say publicly.

BstD59

Bad things often happen to good people, Donna. I wish I had the money to lend you, I don't but I do have a vote and you will get mine. It's always in the best interest of citizens to have someone in a position of authority who is 'just like them', I know you can relate and empathize with those who have or are currently struggling. Good luck!

girlpolitic

She is a total loser.

watson4sherlock

She thinks you're nice.

averageterp

She is owning up to her irresponsibility. But it's property taxes, how can she NOT own up? She can't! Its not like the tax bill that she's had 12 months to pay suddenly arrived our of thin air.

averageterp

How is she "taking responsibility"??has she paid anything towards the delinquent balance?? $76? $15? $200? Anything? If not, then no she hasn't made an ounce of effort.

public-redux

What I'm getting out this: an Alderman's salary would be nice.

Daimejane

I'll vote for her...........at least she is taking resposibility for what is going on. That's more than most.

I pray none of you haters every hit on hard times.

darththevader

How is not paying your taxes taking responsiblity?

watson4sherlock

In time you will understand these things grass hopper.

darththevader

people without facts are any thing meaningful say stupid things instead

watson4sherlock

You are so right grass hopper.

averageterp

political leaders, and police officers with bad debt are more inclined to engage in corruption.

watson4sherlock

Other elected officials use public employees to run their campaigns and for personal care services to avoid making debt. But their not corrupt?

darththevader

It's a shame she can't afford to pay her taxes like many other people.

It's a bigger shame she consistently supports more and hirer taxes

watson4sherlock

I'll vote for her just because Darth is campaigning against her. She must be one of the good guys.

darththevader

How did you derive I'm campaigning against her?

watson4sherlock

Multivariate calculus.

quemzeee2

I disagree with the Statement below. Take a look at the Failure of the current admin to bring ANY jobs here,, except for "wallmart"
Nobody has brought any money into Frederick County for years now.
The only ones making money in Frederick county are the mom and pop landlords packing up houses with non english speaking persons
Or ,, the folks buying up houses to fill them with "re-hab" money.
Wake up,, alot of people are behind right now.
Remember she was the only one who stood up to Pleasant excavation when they tried to cheat Frederick City out of 50 million dollars on Harget farms.

usgov

Not paying your taxes should preclude you from voting or running for office.

niceund

But allowing 4 lives to be lost in Benghazi, using the IRS for political gain, screwing Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, invading foreign countries for oil....doesn't "preclude" one from becoming President of the US. Hmmmmmm

KellyAlzan

This woman lacks FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY,

Luckily for her, she can get a job at the proposed Walmart on the Golden Mile and pay her bills like the rest of us.

watson4sherlock

I'd be nice. If the real estate market hits she might refer some jobs your way.

Donna K

As an fyi, not only last year's taxes are paid, but the upcoming year is paid, too. I always said these would get paid and they did. That is responsibility, right?
Funny how the News Post doesn't have that story on the front page to actually tell the rest of the story. Irresponsible journalism. If you write a story and know there's more coming, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to get the story told, not just throw three lines on the back page and say you've done your job. If you believe something is news and you aren't just using it for 'flash,' then be sure you follow the whole story you found massively important in the first place.

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