State officials are hoping some notoriety might get the Salem area’s delinquent taxpayers to cough up the $48 million they owe.
The state Revenue Department on July 14 will start publishing the names of people and businesses on its website who owe at least $50,000 in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest to the state, the agency announced in a news release. That includes more than 300 delinquent taxpayers in Marion and Polk counties.
Oregonians have until then to fully pay their balance or arrange a payment plan approved by the Revenue Department to avoid appearing on the list.
There are 241 Marion County residents with recorded liens totaling $38.64 million as of May 19, according to agency spokesman Rudy Owens.
In Polk County, there are 78 taxpayers with recorded liens that total $9.34 million.
The state agency this week will start notifying taxpayers who meet the list’s criteria by mail that their names may be posted online, according to the news release.
“Affected taxpayers should contact us as soon as they receive a notice to resolve the debt,” said Deanna Mack, the department’s collection division administrator, in the release. “Publishing this list will support our efforts to collect the revenue that our state counts on.”
The list will include a taxpayer’s name, business name, “the name of any person held personally liable for business debt,” city and state of residence, lien identification number, type of debt and current amount due, according to the statement.
For delinquent taxpayers who don’t live or have real property in Oregon, the department records the warrant in Marion County where the state capitol is, according to Owens. With those debts included, there are 759 taxpayers in Marion County with recorded liens that total $151.38 million.
The state Legislature in 2019 passed SB 523, which authorized the Revenue Department to publish information online about delinquent tax debtors owing over $50,000.
“Many states already post information publicly about delinquent taxpayers as part of their efforts to promote greater tax compliance and collect state revenue,” the news release said. “The department initially planned to launch the program in March 2020 but postponed its implementation out of concern for possible financial hardships for taxpayers created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Taxpayers are asked to contact the department online or by phone to arrange to resolve their debt – 503-945-820 for individuals 503-945-8100 for businesses.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.