FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2nd, 2011
CONTROLLER GREUEL ANNOUNCES CITY HAS BROKEN RECORD FOR COLLECTIONS FROM DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS
(Los Angeles) – Continuing her efforts to reduce the City’s budget deficit, City Controller Wendy Greuel announced today, that her delinquent taxpayer program has successfully collected nearly $5.33 million from 38 delinquent taxpayers since its inception. In February 2009, Controller Greuel unveiled the City’s first delinquent taxpayer list, to crack down on the most egregious delinquent business taxpayers in the City of Los Angeles.
“I’m pleased that we were able to collect more than $5.33 million since the inception of the delinquent taxpayer program.Every dollar saved can help address the City’s massive budget deficit,” said City Controller Greuel. “With over $220 million in delinquent taxes still to be collected, we will remain vigilant cracking down on tax cheats. Cheating on your business taxes may seem appealing in the short-term, but costing the city such sorely needed revenues puts an unfair burden on the millions of law-abiding Angelenos.”
Controller Greuel also announced that her delinquent taxpayer program has begun litigation to collect an additional $40 million in delinquent taxes from 57 tax scofflaws. The names of these scofflaws are posted on a website http://www.lacity.org/finance/delinquent.htm that is regularly updated.
“Controller Greuel’s hard work on this issue is really paying off,” said VICA President Stuart Waldman. “VICA is impressed with the progress that has been made and we have confidence that Controller Greuel will continue this momentum and collect these funds that are needed to help close the city’s budget gap.”
Controller Greuel hopes that by publicizing the names of those taxpayers who refuse to pay their fair share, they will quickly come forward and settle their debt. The list also serves to create a fairer business climate, by preventing scofflaw businesses from gaining an advantage over their competitors.
Other jurisdictions have successfully implemented delinquent taxpayer lists and have collected millions of dollars in overdue taxes.California is the largest state to create a delinquent taxpayer list.Since the state’s list was published in December 2007, California has collected $89 million in delinquent business taxes. At least 10 other states have similar lists.
“The top tax debtor program has exceeded our expectations. It is one of many tools used in the Office of Finance to collect on delinquent debt. This past December we launched our tax lien program where scofflaws are notified of our intent to post their names on the top tax debtor list and impose liens on their assets,” said Antoinette Christovale the General Manager of the City’s Office of Finance.
The delinquent taxpayers were sent a certified letter advising them that they had 30 days to pay or settle their debt. Those debtors who did not respond or enter into settlement negotiations were immediately posted to the City’s website.