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Former PGW Head Tom Knudsen Named Philadelphia’s Tax-Collector-in-Chief

(Tom Knudsen, at lectern, at a City Hall ceremony announcing his appointment.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Tom Knudsen, at lectern, at a City Hall ceremony announcing his appointment. Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The man who helped solve the financial woes of the Philadelphia Gas Works has been chosen by Mayor Nutter to take charge of going after the city’s many tax deadbeats.

Tom Knudsen ran PGW for more than a decade, and one of his proudest accomplishments there, he says, was greatly reducing the number of customers who don’t pay their bills.

Now, the mayor has chosen him as the city’s first ever “chief revenue collections officer.”

Knudsen says reining in rampant tax deadbeats requires a carrot-and-stick approach:

“You want people to appreciate the services that they’re getting, understand that they have a responsibility to pay, and go after that payment.  At the front end, you do it as appropriately as you can.  And you get tougher as the requirements grow.”

Knudsen also served one year as the School District’s chief recovery officer (see related story), following the departure of the late superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

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