Rumor Confirmed: Tax Problems for MEA’s Gayl Shepard

In a conversation in the comments section about our post earlier this week about the MEA’s overheated and redundant conspiracy-theory-esque advocacy at the council meeting, a poster mentioned a rumor they’d heard (apparently during the last contract negotiations) about MEA union president Gayl Shepard having failed to pay her taxes on a few occasions.

In the interest of accountability from the folks that having these debates, we decided to look into it. They told us via email that they had heard Shepard and her ex-husband (a teacher in Montclair) had owed taxes when they lived in New York, and also here in Montclair, and that they had also had a house they owned foreclosed on.

It turns out, that this rumor (unlike so many that we hear these days) was right.

According to a document we were able to get from across the river in New York, back in 1989, Shepard (then Wells) owed about $110 in taxes. She owed $880 in 1990. She didn’t pay off either until 1992, apparently after the tax warrant was issued. 


In New Jersey, we couldn’t get any documents yet (we had a lawyer friend ask for it, we’ll post it when we have it), but a records search they did for us showed she owed $1,868 in taxes. After the lien was filed in March 2006, it was released at the end of July 2006, presumably when she paid. 


It seems like this would be a bit of a problem for her, given how aggressive she was in demanding more tax money from residents for the union contract during the contract negotiations last year, but we’ll leave that up to folks to decide.

6 thoughts on “Rumor Confirmed: Tax Problems for MEA’s Gayl Shepard

  1. A. Gideon

    How is this not stooping to the level of Shepard, Asessmentgate, and the other few that are constantly issuing personal attacks against people trying to improve education in town?


  2. Alton

    What does this tax lien from 2006 have to do with anything? Get a life. Montclair used to bring out the best in people. If this is your best, my prayers are with you.

  3. Jon Rosenberg

    I see a real benefit to this blog site overall — as a place where ad hominem attacks on the district and its leadership can be countered or debunked. But I agree with earlier posters that this particular post was not appropriate and does not serve to raise the level of discourse.

  4. Assessmentgate

    There’s a difference between professional criticism and a personal attack. In all of my posts, I have NEVER attacked anyone personally: I’ve presented examinations, opinions, and critiques of their professional decisions, comments, and behaviors.

  5. grace

    Gayl Shepard is one of the most honest, professional, hardworking, community-minded individuals I know. She is an excellent mother with incredible children, she is a caretaker of her family and friends, and she has been a steadfast advocate for students and school staff in Montclair.
    In her work not involving Union representation, she has directly, through personal involvement, supported the well being of countless young students, my daughter among them. The vicious nature of this blog, or a late tax payment, casts no shadow on Gayl’s tested and proven character and integrity, but it does speak volumes about the pathos of the writer.

  6. Harvey Araton

    this post was vile. you embarrassed yourself. who in their right mind would view you as a reasonable critic of anything after this?
    Harvey Araton


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