Shame List: Revenue Dept. to publicly list delinquent taxpayers

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

The State of Oregon will start publicly listing names of people and businesses who are delinquent on tax bills of $50,000 and above starting July 14th.

In a statement, the Department of Revenue said that “Publishing this list will support our efforts to collect the revenue that our state counts on.” And “Taxpayers can avoid appearing on the list by paying their balance in full or making payment arrangements.”

One business we could see on this list is cannabis company La Mota that owes the state of Oregon over $1.5 million in taxes.

La Mota has garnered a lot of attention lately for employing former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan as a $10,000 a month consultant while she was serving as secretary of state.  Fagan resigned when her consulting gig was revealed.

The company’s founders and a political action committee controlled by La Mota’s CEO donated over $200,000 to top Oregon Democrats including Fagan, Governor Tina Kotek, Senate President Rob Wagner, and Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner Christina Stephenson.  You can read more about the campaign contributions here.

Beyond the high-profile cases that have been in the news, we are concerned that government is getting into the shaming business.   Where does that lead and what boundaries are there?   We would prefer government to get into the recovery business to help business/people who are not paying taxes.  It would be nice to have a Revenue Department without its reputation for not answering their phones or returning taxpayers messages.  It would be even nicer if the State didn’t create the court crisis (prosecution shortage, underfunding courts) which have caused backlog of cases and court delays spanning years.    Does not Oregon have enough power to properly collect unpaid taxes?   We noticed the State of Oregon took the government side in the Supreme Court case where a county in Minnesota took a woman’s home over an unpaid $2,300 bill and sold it for $40,000 and kept the difference ($15,000 for interest payments).

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