Despite the talk about Philadelphia's problem with property taxes—the number of tax deadbeats, the erroneous assessments—the city actually has a 91 percent rate of success when it comes to collecting, which is less terrible than you'd imagine. But the taxes that aren't collected add up—to a not-insignificant $518 million in 2012, for example—and the mayor plans to get those monies back and prevent this from happening again.
According to Samantha Melamed of City Paper, Nutter's $40 million plan includes a call center with 55 employees and new software for the Department of Revenue, which hasn't had a "major" software upgrade since 1993. (So, like, if you want to work for the Department of Revenue right now, better learn DOS and MS Word 4.0.)
Nutter described a "new aggressive multifaceted delinquent tax collection strategy" to include a new tax software system...The new software would integrate data from other agencies, identifying individuals who pay other taxes, such as federal taxes, but don't pay what they owe to the city. The plan also calls for an increase in sheriff's sales—600 per month rather than around 150 per month. This is all happening in conjunction with the implementation of the Actual Value Initiative—Nutter's property-tax reassessment effort. Long time coming.
As usual, Nutter got a couple colorful quotes in, calling those who don't pay their taxes "trifling and raggedy people" and saying, "We're going to chase their little asses down."
· Nutter on tax deadbeats: 'We're going to chase their little asses down' — with data [City Paper]