Tax Scofflaws Beware New York State Set to Launch of Website of Shame for NY's Top Tax Dodgers

Assemblymember Colton announces launch of Web site searchable database of top 500 tax delinquents in NYS
March 5, 2010
Albany - Assemblymember William Colton (D-Brooklyn) is announcing the upcoming launch of a new online, searchable database of the top 250 delinquent tax paying individuals and top 250 delinquent businesses in New York State. The database, soon to be in operation on the Department of Taxation and Finance's website, adopts the concept of legislation introduced last spring by Assemblymember Colton to publicly post the names of delinquent taxpayers and businesses, in an attempt to recoup billions of dollars in lost tax revenue for the state.

"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 billions of dollars in delinquent taxes, much of which is recoverable. These egregious cases of tax evasion places enormous and undue burden on middle and low income families," said Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn).

Recognizing the urgency of this measure in the backdrop of an estimated $9 billion deficit, Assemblyman Colton highlights what is at stake if the state does not aggressively pursue the most egregious cases of tax evasion. "This delinquent revenue can mean the difference between keeping hospitals and schools open or closed. And let there be no doubt that those businesses and individuals that do not pay their fair share, in effect, force law abiding citizens to pay more. The status quo cannot be permitted to continue any longer," Colton added.

At least twenty-one other states and Washington D.C. already utilize the tactic of public listing on the internet to improve collection efforts aimed at delinquent taxpayers.

The program has been very successful in such states as Connecticut, where the state has collected $190 million since they started posting tax warrants in June of 2007. Of the 3,000 accounts that were listed, 2,000 have been cleared.

The database can now be accessed at
http://www.tax.state.ny.us/enforcement/warrants.htm.