…the city administration had directed the department not to pursue collections…
Richmond’s 3-year-old stormwater utility is struggling to collect millions of dollars in fees from property owners, and the widening gulf between what the city bills and what it brings in could necessitate future rate increases, a utility official told the City Council at a meeting this month.
19 Sep 2012 – Review – Council Committee – Finance |….12-0|….
The new administrator over Richmond’s beleaguered Finance Department outlined plans Thursday to fix problems that resulted in thousands of incorrect and late tax bills this year and earned the department withering criticism from the City Council, the city auditor and residents. timesdispatch.com
Richmond City Council passes tax extension….will give taxpayers until June 1 to pay their personal property tax bills in full….”We recognize that we have an inventory of issues we’re working through to correct,”
The City Council also introduced on Tuesday night a slew of additions and subtractions from Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, which includes a general fund budget of about $780.9 million and totals about $1.5 billion….
…Taxpayers complained of grossly inflated assessments, bills for vehicles sold years ago, delinquent notices for taxes that had been paid, and a basic lack of customer service on the part of city employees… timesdispatch.com
Richmond plans to give city taxpayers an extra month to pay personal property taxes after it issued bills last week giving residents less than two weeks to pay.
…In an interview, [Mayor Jones said he] was told the problems stem from computer and “procedural” issues….”We don’t know what they are at this point,” he said.
Richmond mailed personal property tax bills to residents barely two weeks before payment is due, prompting renewed concern from members of Richmond City Council about disarray in the city’s finance department… timesdispatch.com
2012 Apr 04. Over the past six years, the amount of uncollected personal property and business license taxes by the city of Richmond has increased to about $15 million, according to a report released today by the City Auditor’s Office.
The city also “overcollected” $83,000 in interest on delinquent accounts, the report says…. timesdispatch.com
From the report:
The Revenue Administration Division needs improvements to effectively and efficiently carry out
its fiduciary responsibilities and maximize revenue collections. Current deficiencies are potentially resulting in a loss of substantial uncollected and un-assessed revenues.
The City Auditor’s staff did not find organized documentation that can be used to determine the productivity of this Unit.
significantly low productivity
most of the assessments and collections resulted from only three of the seven positions.
|collections||$25,000 ($3,500 per Tax Auditor)||$5,000,000 ($500,000 per Tax Auditor)|
|audits||32 audits (5 audits per Tax Auditor)||2,500 audits (250 per Tax Auditor)|
Audit Unit was unable to present any evidence if they completed any audits between October 2008 and August 2010.
significant risk of under-reporting or non-reporting of business personal property tax.
could have generated $1.3 million from administrative fees on delinquent accounts
overcollected $83,000 in interest on delinquent accounts
poor customer service
significant inconvenience to the Richmond Citizens |….12-0|….
The results have city leaders scratching their heads. In some cases, the city overcharged taxpayers and in others, Richmond missed out on millions of dollars in uncollected taxes….One finding generated pointed questions from committee members. They were curious about the rapidly increasing balance of uncollected taxes. That total grew from just $500,000 six years ago, to $15.8 million last year. That adds up to $16 million the city could have put in its check book…. nbc12.com
Auditor says Richmond overstated value of government buildings and land
The audit said the city has misstated the value of its fixed assets in nine years of financial statements, despite a warning from Dalal’s office three years ago that the figures were wrong….Neither Dalal nor Marshall would disclose who conducted the investigation or how it began….The audit found inadequate records and discrepancies in accounting for assets the city had acquired, including a lack of supporting documentation for 96 percent of the land and 84 percent of the buildings included in the list of assets….timesdispatch.com