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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Tax Collections
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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Tax Collections

Regarding the "Tax Cheats" blurb at http://www.alexandriagazette.com/news/2019/nov/15/alexandria-council-notebook/ , I wanted to clarify the context based on complaints we've received.

The small dollar write-offs only amount to $17,640, averaging $5.68 from each of 3,105 accounts. For perspective, this is 0.0035% of City tax collections. As the docket item explained, this is a common practice for Virginia localities under state law. The law does not require publication of names in newspapers, and that's not a cost-effective strategy given the expense of traditional advertising.

Our collection rate for 2014-2018 has been 99.7%, which reflects the use of a broad array of collection tools including:

Delinquent letters

Telephone calls

DMV registration holds

State Set-Off Debt Income Tax seizures

Boots and tows (beginning in FY20, use of orange levy stickers)

Bank liens

Wage liens

Placement with collection agencies (at no cost to the City)

Payment plans

Judgments, other legal action

Craig T. Fifer, MPA

Director

Office of Communications & Public Information

City of Alexandria, Virginia