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Tennessee Audit Finds City Employees Avoiding Taxes

Tennessee Audit Finds City Employees Avoiding Taxes

An audit released by Tennessee comptroller Justin Wilson appears to show several city employees failing to pay property taxes.

The audit, which is from the financial year ending June 2014, but was released on August 9, says it found that back in 2011 “several city employees owed real estate taxes at year end.” The report added that the unpaid taxes “were at least six months overdue.”

The report recommends that from now on taxes be paid in a “timely manner” and calls on city employees to set a better example, saying “financial responsibility begins at home.”

According to Watchdog, city officials including City Recorder Bob Jones, who is in charge of collecting property taxes, and Mayor John Holden claimed to be “unfamiliar” with the findings of the report despite receiving it three months ago.

Holden said he “didn’t recall” having any conversations about that part of the audit. He added,

“We make efforts to collect all of our taxes. City employees get no special treatment.” Watchdog uncovered that three city employees in total had not paid, and all of them have now cleared their debt plus penalties.

Kevin Howell of the Dyersburg-based firm of Alexander Thompson Arnold CPAs performed the audit. He said that maybe “several” was too strong a word to have put in the audit. He also said the amount owed was “a really insignificant part” of a total of USD$6.9 million in property tax revenue.

A local tax clerk said people in Dyersburg are usually given around two years to pay property taxes before the land is seized and put up for sale by the state.

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