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.