The City of Philadelphia began a new measure to collect delinquent taxes from City pension benefit recipients. Currently, the City of Philadelphia has 33,000 pensioners and beneficiaries receiving pension benefits. Of that, approximately 2,500 owe $12.9 million to the City in delinquent taxes. The City, through the Revenue Department, is taking a more aggressive approach in attempting to retrieve owed tax monies.
“Our Administration has put a heavy emphasis on accountability and transparency when it comes to City employees,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We must hold City employees, retired and current, to the same, if not higher standard as we hold other Philadelphians who owe back taxes, liens or have unpaid City bills.”
The City has sent a letter to all 2,500 pension recipients who owe back taxes; some have already entered a payment plan. If they fail to make voluntary repayment arrangements or if they do not maintain current repayment agreements, they will be subject to enforcement measures. These measures include having up to 25 percent of their pension benefits deducted from their pension checks and offset against their delinquent taxes.
In addition to withholding pension benefit monies, the City may also publish the names of tax delinquents on the City’s website (http://www.phila.gov/revenue/delinquencies/) if a judgment or lien has been entered against them and the individual does not take the necessary steps to become tax compliant.
Individuals have been directed to the appropriate contact person or agency in order to repay or make arrangements to repay delinquent owed taxes. The Revenue Department, Law Department and City collections firms are authorized to enter into approved payment agreements with accounts in collection.
Understanding that some individuals may face financial hardships, the City of Philadelphia will give due consideration to ensure fair and affordable payment terms by using the Revenue Department’s financial hardship guidelines.