PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The city’s Revenue Department has apparently hit on a novel idea for going after tax deadbeats: call them.

Mayor Nutter’s Revenue Commissioner, Keith Richardson, told City Council that his department is now boldly going where it has not gone before — to the phones.  They’re simply calling tax deadbeats and telling them first hand to pay up.

Richardson testified that sometimes the message gets through, “If you’re first to the phone making that phone call, someone may pay, because they don’t hear from the city right now.  So we’re trying to be more proactive to do that for the 2010 taxes that were due for real estate.  We started reaching out to those people who had not paid yet.”

And the phone calls have a simple message, “We want to continue to tell people ‘we mean business, this is the number, (amount owed) you’ve got to deal with, don’t go looking for someone else to try to help you out.  And pay your fair share that’s owed to the city.”

Richardson said this is being done for those who owe on last year’s property tax and on their water bills.  The city last year staged a tax amnesty which brought in more than $70 million.  No further amnesties are planned.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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