ALBANY - Governor David A. Paterson, Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and Assemblyman William Colton announced on Friday that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will begin posting the State’s top 250 business and top 250 individual tax debtors on the Department’s website. This measure is intended to recoup billions of dollars in lost tax revenues because of tax delinquents who do not pay their tax liabilities.
Senator Jeffrey D. Klein said: “At this time of fiscal crisis, New York absolutely cannot tolerate individuals and businesses brazenly skirting our tax laws. This website is a critical first step in closing the massive tax gap our state is facing. By publicly naming the most outrageous cases, we put all those who would seek to circumvent our tax laws on notice, this behavior will no longer be tolerated.”
As of October 2009, the top ten businesses and top ten individual offenders owed New York State over $82 million combined in uncollected taxes. Publicly posting the names of taxpayers who are delinquent has proven to be an effective tax collections technique in other states.
“Since the beginning of my time in office, I have stressed the vital importance of addressing our State’s serious fiscal issues honestly and transparently,” Governor Paterson said. “These businesses and individuals, who shamelessly evade our tax laws, put the entire State in jeopardy and allow others to pay for the vital services they enjoy. Through utilizing this website to identify the most egregious offenders, we send a powerful message to those who would seek to benefit from all that New York State has to offer, but refuse to contribute their fair share.”
Assemblymember William Colton said: “When we in government are asking working families to sacrifice more and more during this difficult economic downturn, we need to first make sure that everyone is already paying their fair share. According to the New York State Department of Tax and Finance, New York is owed over a staggering $14 billion in delinquent taxes, of which approximately $4.2 billion is recoverable. Much of this delinquent revenue emanates from the wealthiest 1% in New York State, which places enormous and undue burden on middle and low income families.”
Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward said: “Tax warrants are a matter of public record, and our notices to taxpayers inform them of that fact. Allowing for easy public access to these names is just one more tool we will use in our enforcement program to collect all that is owed in taxes in order for the State to pay for vital services it provides to all New Yorkers.”
At the beginning of each month, the Department will examine the records of those who have at least one tax warrant filed against them in the preceding 12 months. If the total of open warrants in a taxpayer’s history warrants it, the total value of all open warrants for that tax delinquent will be used to determine their placement in top 250 lists.
The information is now available on the Department’s website at http://www.nystax.gov.