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Proposed Mesa Program Would Give Late Taxpayers A 'Break'

Mesa hopes to coax late taxpayers to settle their bill with the city by getting rid of penalties and reducing interest payments.

City staff has proposed a tax amnesty program that would take place from June 1 to July 31, 2017.

The program would waive penalties and cut interest payments in half if people paid their outstanding balance.

“It gives them a break,” said Mesa revenue collections supervisor Patti Oskvarek. 

Mesa staff estimate the city could net $630,00 if even 80 percent of people pay up.

“It’s targeted at anybody that has a business, whether it’s a corporation, an LLC or an individual,” Oskvarek said. “It's also for people that may not have a license and haven’t filed any returns and want to come forward.”

A presentation to Mesa’s Audit, Finance and Enterprise Committee cited Tucson’s success in collecting $2 million because of a tax amnesty program offered in 2015.

The committee approved the program and it now awaits a vote in city council.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.