Petersburg paper faces backlash for naming people who owe back taxes

Newspaper Facing Backlash For Naming People Who Owe Back Taxes

PETERSBURG, Va. – A Petersburg local paper was paid to print all the names of individuals and businesses who owe back taxes and has faced backlash from it.

The City of Petersburg paid $21,000 to have the Progress Index print the list because they said it is a way to collect the $10 million that the people and companies owe in back taxes.

SEE ALSO: Authorities hunt 2 men suspected in couple's killing

The 44 pages worth of names were printed in Sunday's edition.

"We have 10 million dollars worth of outstanding debt to us, here are the people that owe us," said Kevin Brown, Petersburg treasurer.

See photos from the story:

5 PHOTOS
Petersburg paper faces backlash for naming people who owe back taxes
See Gallery
Petersburg paper faces backlash for naming people who owe back taxes
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"That's a lot of money, that's a lot of money," said resident James Quickley.

It is also money that Petersburg desperately needs, though not everyone believes the names of people and businesses should have been published.

"I think they should have given people some notice so that they could have gone down and paid their bill before they were, their names were put in the paper," said resident Paula Mims.

SEE ALSO: Target reportedly set to make 1 major change

The treasurer took the idea to City Council last month.

"One list was real estate; the other list is personal property taxes," said Brown.

"We have to keep the records for 20 years, on delinquent real estate taxes and five years on personal property," said Brown.

Council voted six to one in favor of his proposal, as a measure to gain need revenue.

Many Petersburg residents believe it was the right thing to do since the city is in serious financial trouble.

"If it's taxes they owe, they should pay them, you know," Quickly said.

"I don't see anything wrong with it, I mean, if you take care of your responsibilities, you don't have to worry about it being in the paper," said another resident, Kevin Dodson.

The last time the city paid to print delinquent tax payer names was back in 1995.

The city treasurer said they plan to recoup the money spent advertising, through late fees charged on the delinquent taxes.

2018 Tax Reform Impact: What You Should Know

Congress has passed the largest piece of tax reform legislation in more than three decades. The bill will affect the taxes of most taxpayers, but one key point to keep in mind is that for most people, the bill won't affect your taxes for 2017 (the one you file in 2018).

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Video: How to Estimate the Value of Clothing for IRS Deductions

Learn how to estimate the value of clothing for IRS tax deductions as charitable donations. The value of clothing donations to charity are based on published lists of retail values or current thrift store prices. List your donation values on the Form 8283 with the help of TurboTax in this video on filing annual taxes.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

The Top Tax Myths (and What Happens When You Believe Them)

Don't get caught believing in any of these myths when it comes to your taxes.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Video: What Are Tax Tables?

The tax tables issued by the federal government and many state governments determine what amount of tax you owe based on your net income after deductions and exemptions. See how your tax status affects your position on the tables in this video on tax basics.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story