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90 Taxpayer Names Added to "CyberShame" List

Program aimed at chronic delinquent taxpayers

April 16, 2001

BATON ROUGE - The names of an additional 90 chronic delinquent taxpayers who owe nearly $3.5 million have been added to the CyberShame list published on the Department of Revenue’s Internet web page. The new names represent 58 individuals who owe $2,680,732.09 and 32 businesses that owe $773,592.84.

In January, the Department initiated its “CyberShame” program by publishing the names of 126 chronic delinquent taxpayers that owed $9.8 million. The program is based on the premise that publication of a delinquent taxpayer''s name will shame them into paying the taxes they owe. “Our first publication was very successful,” says Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges. “Not only did we collect $469,100.80 from taxpayers on the list, but we also collected $193,812.97 from taxpayers not on the list, but who wanted to ensure that their names would not be published in the future.”

Bridges points out that anyone with access to the Internet can view the list on the Department’s web page at www.rev.state.la.us. “There, the names, addresses, and amounts of tax owed by some of the state''s most chronic delinquent taxpayers, are listed for all the world to see,” Bridges says.

The source of the published delinquent tax information is public record tax liens on file with the Clerk of Court in the appropriate parish. For this reason, publication of the tax information does not constitute a violation of the confidentiality provisions of Louisiana Revised Statute 47:1508 which requires that a taxpayer''s records be kept confidential.

In preparation for adding the new names, Bridges says 110 letters were mailed at the end of February to notify the taxpayers that their names would be published unless payment arrangements were made within 30 days. This original list represented 66 individuals who owe a total of $2,986,472.52 and 44 businesses that owe a total of $1,233,983.67.

The list was reduced to 102 when 8 taxpayers who owe a total of $192,744.06 contacted the Department to make payment arrangements. The list was further reduced to 90 when 12 notification letters had to be remailed after more current addresses were obtained. Bridges says those 12 accounts total $573,386.85 and are scheduled to be added to the CyberShame list by May 1. Present plans by the Department of Revenue call for additional names to be added to the CyberShame list approximately every three months.