Taking Action

Audit finds City of Richmond ‘not effectively’ collecting taxes

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A city audit confirms what an 8News investigation uncovered a year ago: the City of Richmond is not effectively collecting taxes.

The new report indicates that while Richmonders have not been paying their taxes, the city has been letting them get away with it. 

The audit found that as of June 30, 2017, the city was owed $61 million in delinquent taxes — a big loss of revenue for the city, money that could be used for schools, roads and police.

8News recently uncovered that some property owners hadn’t paid their real estate taxes for 20 years. 

This new report found it’s due to several problems with the city’s collections unit. For example, when it comes to personal property tax, the city can stop the DMV from renewing the tax delinquents car registration. But the audit found that collections hadn’t submitted a report to the DMV since November 2016.

Over the past five years, the number of tax delinquents has significantly increased. 

“The delinquent accounts receivable increased by 25 percent,” Deputy City Auditor Lily Hernandez said. “That’s between a five year period, 2013 to 2017. This means that we are not as effective collecting the taxes that are due to the City.” 

The city’s audit committee recommends embarrassing tax delinquents by publishing their names in the paper. 8News has been told the finance department is making some changes.

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