On August 17th, 2018, the City of Lorain created a nightmare for thousands of residents who showed up at the Lorain Income Tax Department located at 605 W. Fourth St. Over the course of the past two weeks upwards of 10,000 residents of Lorain received a subpoena in the mail. The subpoena informed them to attend a hearing regarding their city tax filings for the fiscal year 2017. They were urged to bring with them any and all documentation and to appear at 9:00am. What transpired as a result saw those in line having to wait upwards of 5 or more hours just to get through the doors. We went inside of the Lorain Tax Department and berated the City for their actions – watch the video below.
Scumbagged was alerted to the situation at 9:15am after receiving a voicemail on the tip-line from an individual who had made an attempt to appear for his own subpoena. “I was given 45 minutes by my boss to make it down there and back, there was just no way that I would have been able to make that happen. There’s lines lining up around the corner of 4 different buildings, it’s insane.”
The video below shows multiple interviews with individuals on the street, but also shows Scumbagged going inside of the Lorain Income Tax Department. We counted more than 1,000 people on the streets, men, women, children, elderly and even some who were in wheelchairs. We encountered people who needed to use the bathroom but were fearful of losing their place in line and there were no porter potties anywhere to be found. Rain clouds started fastly approaching and many became drenched.
One woman said “This is bullshit” and went on to state how she only “needed a week to make the payments or to schedule a payment plan”. Other residents that we had spoken too all showed their irritation with one man stating “I either stand here in line or go to jail”. Many were seen getting out of line and leaving reporting that they had to get back to work, pick up their kids from school or had to use the bathroom.
How this all happened is fairly simple and boils down to one person. Terri Soto, the Treasurer of the Lorain Income Tax Department who came up with the brilliant plan to subpoena everyone on the same day and at the same time. The fact that there were only 3 or 4 people actually processing individuals tax information also doesn’t bode too well for Mrs. Soto as it shows that she knew full well that there would be long lines with few people being able to process them all.
In addition every building has a max occupancy. As a result of the deliberate 10,000+ subpoenas issues they were well over capacity. A clear violation of the fire code and basically endangering individuals and their families. There were also no police officers to be found outside or inside of the Tax Department. Just imagine if a shooter had shown up or if a fire started? Scumbags…
It should be noted that there is some irony behind today’s events. The fact that the city of Lorain, who has for decades misappropriated and stolen taxpayer dollars is now threatening to impose hearty fines and jail time to people who don’t show for the hearing. Yet, more than half of the residents who showed left due to the long lines. Furthermore, Lorain as been blatantly stealing from their residents via a water scam which can be found here: https://scumbagged.com/2018/02/09/lorain-water-exposed/
COBRA Says: Rumor through the grapevine is that Terri Soto was overheard stating “This will teach them a lesson to pay attention to their mail and to pay their taxes, bet they won’t want to stand in line next year.” If that’s the case, she’s a fucking bigger scumbag than we originally thought…
The Bottom Line: Terri Soto should be removed from her position. If she would have bothered to walk outside and take a look at the nightmare she created – maybe then she would have seen the workers, the elderly, the children that she forced to stand outside for 4, 5 and 6 hours at a time – without water – without a bathroom, losing wages, etc. Except, she didn’t bother to walk outside, because she was stuck inside – she did this intentionally.
SCUMBAGGED Tip: Pay your taxes on time next year, or just move far enough away (out of the county) so you can’t be extradited for a low level misdemeanor. Either way, avoid the lines at all costs!