The County is pursuing two new proposals that would bring in $4 million in Fiscal Year 2013 by going after businesses and residents not filing tax returns, paying too little in taxes, or simply evading Home Rule taxes in Cook County. The County will be investing in new software that will provide for electronic data integration, analytics and business intelligence reporting to identify unregistered businesses required to pay taxes that fail to do so. The County also intends to implement a Local Tax Intercept program by applying to the State’s “Local Debt Recovery Program,” established by the Illinois Comptroller’s Office, to collect outstanding debt from businesses and residents who have previously violated various County ordinances.
“As we continue to craft a responsible budget, we have to do more to protect taxpayers who comply with the law on a daily basis while ensuring the County is collecting all the revenue it is owed,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “These proposals will bring in needed revenue to the County while ensuring that everyone is operating on a level playing field. This is a win-win for County residents.”
Tax Discovery Enhancement for Delinquent Tax Recovery
- The County will invest capital resources to create and implement the tax discovery software, which in turn is expected to bring in $2 million in new revenue to the 2013 general fund.
- The system will allow the County’s Department of Revenue to target businesses that are not remitting taxes such as Gas/Diesel, Alcohol, Tobacco, Use and New Motor Vehicle, Parking and Amusement.
- By leveraging the new technology and electronic information exchanges with surrounding states, municipalities and business groups, the County will be able to pursue scofflaw businesses more effectively than in the past, while streamlining its revenue compliance and collection services.
Local Tax Intercept Program
- The County’s Bureau of Finance will partner with the State’s Attorney’s Office, Clerk of the Circuit’s Office and the Cook County Health and Hospital System to take advantage of a State tax-refund intercept program that will recoup uncollected debt from unpaid traffic violations, civil court penalties and other ordinance violations going back up to seven years.
- The Tax Intercept program is anticipated to bring in up to $2 million in the 2013 Budget.
- To put the program in place, the County will seek to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the State of Illinois, through the Illinois Comptroller’s Office.
The new programs announced today are among the latest in County’s efforts to curb tax delinquency. In September of 2011, President Preckwinkle launched a Voluntary Disclosure Program to encourage businesses not paying required Home Rule taxes to self-register with the County, which generated $1 million in revenue for the County.
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