Last week, Council moved forward with a proposal from Joan Krajewski to create a tax amnesty program that would allow people to pay back taxes without penalties, and half the interest.
Today, the Daily News weighs in by reviewing some of the pros and cons of the idea. On the upside, it says, amnesties generally do create revenue -- and the city, as we well know, needs revenue. A lot of it. The downside is that amnesties are unfair to people who pay their taxes on time, and give people an incentive to delay payment.
The paper adds one other thought -- something else that may be behind delinquency.
"We should also be paying closer attention to why people aren't paying their bills. Is it just a coincidence that property taxes are a big category for scofflaws when the city's property-tax system and the Board of Revision of Taxes are so dysfunctional? As long as it's widely perceived to be a dishonest system, it shouldn't surprise us that so many people feel less than compelled to pay their taxes."
Is this sufficient reason for someone to not pay taxes? Definitely not. But it definitely is a good reason (another one) for the city to take the reform of its assessment system seriously, and to do so with all reasonable haste.