Pushing A Tax Amnesty Program


As lawmakers seek to close this year’s $3.2 billion budget gap, Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, is proposing legislation that would toughen laws on tax scofflaws.

Klein estimates that the state could bring in about $400 million if it establishes a tax amnesty program, which would waive penalties if tax evaders pay up. As part of his budget-cutting plan, Gov. David Paterson has included the program but estimates it would bring in about $250 million this year and $100 million next year.

The new twist on Klein’s plan is that it would give state agencies the authority to deny a delinquent taxpayer the renewal of a professional license after being notified by the state  Department of Taxation and Finance.

His office produced a list of some people who owe six-figure sums to the state but also hold state licenses, such as liquor and real estate licenses for their businesses.

“I think there’s a real case to be made that someone would think twice before running up a huge tax bill in the state of New York if they know that their professional license is in jeopardy,” Klein said.


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  1. There is nothing wrong with tax amnesty per se, but threatening to take peoples’ liceneses away is overbroad and punitive. Typical liberal garbage.

    Jeff: there are already laws on the books to address people who cheat/do not pay their taxes. Enforce the existing laws!

    Jeff: Did it ever occur to you that sometimes people underpay or do not pay not because they are dishonest, but they have cash flow problems, medical issues or whatever. It is not an excuse, but taking their license away and putting them out of business is NOT the way to get money from them. They have to earn it to give it to the state.

    This is especially true now. The reality is that many small business owners, which this targets are sufferring now. Even if they made mistakes in the past and want to pay up, they cannot as their income is down so much that there is nothing left after food, utilities and the basics. So it seems nonsensical to me to take their livelyhood away, force them into bankrupcy and onto the streets and still not get blood from a stone is dumb. Better to work out a way to get the states’ hands on their future earnings to pay the back taxes then prevent them from earning anything.

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