Boston taxpayers shell out millions for workers paid to stay home while under investigation

A WBZ I-Team investigation revealed Boston taxpayers have continued to pay public employees facing criminal charges or workplace misconduct allegations. The report revealed that taxpayers have spent $5 million on paid leave for these employees. The average worker is paid to stay at home for an average of nine months, receiving roughly $72,000 during that…

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Successful waterfront developer tops list of property tax scofflaws

A News Tribune investigation revealed the top property tax scofflaws in Pierce County, which included a tiny, emerging development on Tacoma’s waterfront. The investigation involved analyzing 1.3 million records that showed the developer owed nearly $750,000 in unpaid property taxes, almost three times the next-highest taxpayer. Tacoma City Council also helped the developer qualify for…

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Property tax system hurt the poor and helped the rich

An unprecedented analysis by the Chicago Tribune reveals that for years, the Cook County property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to homeowners who are well-off while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities. The problem lies with the fundamentally flawed way the county…

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Developer for proposed Trump-branded Dallas hotel has history of unfinished projects, legal woes

An investigation by the Dallas Morning News found that Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci, the developer who was planning to help launch the Trump Organization’s new Scion brand with a hotel in downtown Dallas, has a history of unpaid debts and legal trouble. Sarimsakci, who refers to himself as the “Turkish Trump” and is an admirer of the President,…

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Funds to update New Jersey 911 services are diverted to unrelated areas

Of the nearly $1.4 billion in taxes New Jersey residents have paid to fund a new 911 service since 2004, only about 15 percent of it has gone to the system, according to a report by NJ.com. The tax was meant to support current 911 operations, as well as fund the shift to NextGen 911,…

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Federal government is still awarding contracts to tax delinquent firms

President Obama in 2010 sent out a memo to government departments banning contracts from going to companies that owe more than $3,500 in federal taxes. This rule has not been followed, according to a report by the American Media Institute. Just in 2016, $63.8 million in contracts have been awarded to firms that owe more than…

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Landlords buy homes with cash, leave taxpayers to pay the costs

In Milwaukee, some landlords are using properties for profit and then leaving after they stop paying taxes. Once they leave, it’s up to the city to sell the homes at low prices or have the taxpayers pay to repair or tear them down, according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the meantime,…

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Taxpayers spend more than $10 million on state lobbyists, PR people

Records obtained by Watchdog.org show that state agencies in Colorado will pay legislative liaisons and communications staff about $11 million in tax dollars this year despite a state budget crunch. It was also found that last year, local governments spent about $1.67 million on salaries of outside lobbyists. These findings have left some lawmakers pushing…

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Luxury businesses default on SBA loans

When Small Business Administration lenders determine they will not be able to collect repayment on a loan, the loan is said to be charged off. According to an SBA database obtained by Watchdog.org, SBA lenders have charged off loans backed partly by taxpayer dollars since 2009. These have included millions of dollars in loans to…

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Assessment program gave millions to private companies, cost millions for taxpayers

The new property appraisal system in Monmouth County was touted as “true tax reform” and a way to save homeowners millions of dollars, according to the Asbury Park Press. However, the program has caused homeowners to see their tax payments jump, sometimes as much as 35 percent. The taxpayers are also now paying millions to…

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