Forget casinos, Mr. Patrick - invest in some new personnel at the Department of Revenue

Channel 4: State owed $2.2 billion in back taxes:

... A two-month analysis of Massachusetts tax scofflaws from Boston to the Florida coast shows while most ordinary taxpayers pony up when the tax bill comes due – even in this difficult economy - some of our wealthiest neighbors repeatedly snub their nose at their tax obligations. ...

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      Let's Be Fair to Deval

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      This has nothing to do with more tax collectors, some people just chose to cheat the system. The examples of tax cheats described in the article suggest that the government's inability to collect the back taxes is due to on-going litigation, which the government can do nothing about, or because the individuals just chose not to pay and rack up fines. Although their reasons for not paying their taxes are unclear, it may simply be that they think they can make more money off of the money they aren't paying than they will have to pay in fines. I beleive each of the individuals was a real estate developer and one said he couldn't pay on time because his money was tied up in a deal. This seems to suggest that the State/City should implement steeper fines to take away the economic insentive to let your taxes go past due.

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      True, but

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      The punitive interest charged on delinquent taxes is 16%, not chump change and it adds up quickly and generally is not abatable (cities and towns have no authority to write off taxes or interest or cut deals with delinquent taxpayers). It's mind boggling how many people just think that they can get away with it, but they almost always end up paying a lot more for it than they would have had they taken care of it when they should have. I happen to work in the area of property tax recovery for a law office that has municipal clients. After certain time and money thresholds on Tax Takings (the formal term for property tax liens) are met, cities and towns may recover unpaid taxes by foreclosing on liens in the Land Court, however because upon entry of a judgment of foreclosure, a municipalitiy will gain full title of the property (regardless of what's owed) which wipes out all subordinate liens (including State and US Government liens), the standard of Notice is much stricter and more thorough -all parties entitled to Notice of proceedings(lien holders, condo boards, heirs, etc) must be notified by the Court and the city or town may not move forward with its case until there is proof that all parties entitled have been notified. In the vast majority of cases, this is done well within six months, but some get caught up in complicated service issues (IE large probates, family feuds, dissolved corporations, convoluted title problems, etc). So, the municipalities generally do work to recover unpaid taxes, but each case is different and some just take more time than others.

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