Phila. garnishes pay from deadbeat workers

    In a nearly unprecedented move, Philadelphia’s City Controller is officially deducting pay from over 400 city employees who owe taxes and other fees.

    In a nearly unprecedented move, Philadelphia’s City Controller is officially deducting pay from over 400 city employees who owe taxes and other fees.

    Listen:
    [audio: 100106tmcontrol.mp3]

    City Controller Alan Butkovitz says he is using an old city regulation to take up to a 20% deduction from city employees’ paychecks to pay their back taxes.

    Butkovitz: We’re making use of a 1937 state law which allows the city controller to withhold wages from city employees who owe the city taxes.  It authorizes the withholding of up to 20% of their paycheck and now we are going to be doing that with 405 city employees.

    Just how much is deducted depends on how much they make, but Butkovitz says most will surrender nearly 20% of their pay.

    Under the Controller’s withholding process, 60% of the workers will have paid off their tax delinquencies in less than one year. The City will receive more than $1.3 million over the next five years from the program.

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