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N.Y. Tax Scofflaws Pay $56 Million Under License Threat

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- New York has collected $56.4 million from delinquent taxpayers under a program created last year that allows the state to suspend driver’s licenses of anyone owing more than $10,000, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Since August, 8,900 residents had their licenses suspended and an additional 6,500 agreed to pay New York what they owed, according to an e-mail statement by Cuomo yesterday. Collections were 34 percent higher than officials expected, Cuomo said.

“We are sending a clear message to tax delinquents that they either have to pay the taxes they owe, or face real consequences,” Cuomo said. “For many, this message is getting through and as a result, thousands of people have come forward to do the right thing and find a way to pay their taxes.”

In New York, 96 percent of taxes are paid by businesses and individuals voluntarily. The remaining 4 percent is collected through the Tax Department’s audit, collections and criminal-investigation programs, according to the state.

To contact the reporter on this story: Freeman Klopott in Albany at fklopott@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Mark Schoifet, Mark Tannenbaum

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