Here's another press release we received today from New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson :
THOMPSON: NYC CAN INCREASE REVENUE THROUGH TAX AMNESTY PROGRAM
New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. is urging the City of
In a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg - which can be viewed at www.comptroller.nyc.gov - Thompson stressed that while State has created a mechanism for enhancing tax revenue collections, the City must fully participate to generate as much revenue as possible.
"Tax amnesty programs have been used to good effect in the past to bring in additional revenue during times of fiscal stress," Thompson wrote.
Last summer, New York State implemented its "Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program," essentially a tax amnesty program, which allows eligible tax payers to avoid monetary and criminal penalties by paying unpaid taxes that one owed and agreeing to pay all future taxes.
"While the City will benefit from this program when delinquent taxpayers pay taxes that also have a City component, such as personal income or sales taxes, the City is not taking advantage of this program to enhance collections of the taxes it administers - specifically the business taxes," Thompson added.
In Fiscal Years 2003 and 2004, the City collected $106 million in tax revenue through tax amnesty programs. This included $22 million stemming from a State tax amnesty program in FY 2003, and $84.4 million from a City tax amnesty program in FY 2004, according to the Office of Management and Budget's tax program estimates. The latter program provided an amnesty over three months for a range of City-administered taxes including business taxes, the real property transfer tax, and others.
"While some revenues generated from a tax amnesty program might eventually be paid anyway, there are likely many for whom stepping forward and resolving outstanding tax matters will encourage better compliance in the future," Thompson said.