State publishes list of tax dodgers

State publishes tax dodgers

June 8, 2011 7:45:42 PM PDT
The California Franchise Tax Board has put out its list of top tax dodgers. Among those listed include a Hollywood celebrity, a dot-com millionaire, and more than 200 others who owe a combined $180 million to the state.

While millions of Californians every year send the Franchise Tax Board the taxes they owe, some do not.

The top 250 scofflaws are already outed on a website, with technology millionaire Halsey Minor topping the list at owing $14.2 million and actress Pamela Anderson is on the hook for $600,000.

Now, Assm. Henry Perea, D-Fresno, says that's not fair in these tight budget times and wants to take away the tax delinquents' professional and/or driver licenses until they can set up payment plans with FTB.

"While they are the wealthy among us, they continue to buy their vacation homes, their Mercedes Benz and their Bentleys," said Perea.

Perea says if all 250 people on the list paid their taxes, the state would have another $180 million, enough to save adult health day care from elimination and other social programs from further budget cuts. In-home care recipient Alfonso Nguyen has seen his in-home care diminish year-after-year.

"If they pay their fair share, then we wouldn't have these budget problems," said Nguyen.

But some on the list claim they've been disputing their tax bill and the Franchise Tax Board is not helpful in resolving cases.

Los Angeles Attorney Tony Brooklier, who is representing the suspect in the beating of Giants fan Brian Stow, owes $760,000 and said in a statement on Wednesday he's been contacting them for years trying to work this out.

Workers at Paul Del Grande Auto Parts in Silicon Valley say it's not fair to go after the owner's license when they don't believe he owes $360,000.

"I think that's ridiculous. First off, how can a person make money if they can't get around?" said Linda Leighton from Paul Del Grande Auto Parts.

"If they don't believe there are consequences to their actions, then they will never pay it," said Perea.

The Franchise Tax Board says it makes every attempt to get people to pay their tax bills voluntarily. Putting people on the list for the public to see is a last resort.

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