Friday, July 31, 2015

Phila. tax amnesty nets $60 million

The city's tax amnesty program brought in $40 million for the city and $20 million for the school district.

Phila. tax amnesty nets $60 million

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Philadelphia's tax amnesty program brought in $40 million for the city and $20 million for the school district, Mayor Nutter said Tuesday, warning that he plans to get more people and businesses to pay by working with the district attorney to prosecute delinquent taxpayers.

More than 27,000 delinquent taxpayers participated in the 54-day amnesty program, which ended June 25 and allowed people and businesses to waive penalties and charge only half of accrued interest if they paid their overdue bills.

At a Tuesday morning news conference, Mayor Nutter said the city was done playing nice to those who fail to pay on time.

"We want our damn money. You owe it and we plan to collect it," Nutter said.  "Cases are already being turned over for potential prosecution. They will face swift legal action as well as stiff fines and penalties." 

Nutter said officials from his administration already had discussed these plans with District Attorney Seth Williams, who has agreed to go after some delinquents. Williams was not immediately available for comment.

City officials had hoped the amnesty program would bring in $30 million and had included that amount in budget projections. Nutter, however, said the additional $10 million would not alter plans for proposed budget cuts because the weak economy has lowered tax revenue projections.

"We need to be very, very clear. This is not like we just walked outside and found $10 million on the street," he said. "We need every single dime that we can get."

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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