Citizens in the city of Fall River, Massachusetts, got something a little different in their property tax bill last month. Along with a statement for their quarterly property tax bill, they also received an affidavit that they had to sign and return to the state department of revenue confirming their address and ownership of the property.
As e-commerce sales continue to increase at double-digit rates, state governments are asking Congress for a little help to generate revenue from sales tax. An estimated $20 billion in sales taxes slip through the fingers of state governments each year because online merchants do not have to collect or pay state sales taxes if they do not have a physical presence in that state.
A new study by the National Consumer Law Center said outdated state and local municipality laws are making it possible for people who are delinquent on their property taxes to lose their homes. For as little as $400 owed in property taxes, local governments are placing tax liens on the houses, seizing the property, then selling the tax liens to big banks and other investors.
The Internal Revenue Service has agreed to an offer presented by ThermoEnergy Corporation of Massachusetts to settle tax requirements on its payroll that led to a $2.3 million gain. The multimillion-dollar gain was recorded during the fourth quarter of 2010.