Don’t pay your taxes? Prepare to lose your driver’s license

If you owe your respective state government at least $1,000 in back taxes and have used up all of your appeals then your state could take away your driver’s license as part of the recent driver’s license suspension program being adopted by a small group of states.

Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the implementation of the initiative and made the minimum threshold $10,000 in back taxes. He projected that the program could increase state collections by as much as $26 million this fiscal year and then an additional $6 million each year following. The state joins California, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

“Our message is simple: tax scofflaws who don’t abide by the same rules as everyone else are not entitled to the same privileges as everyone else,” the governor said in a statement. “These worst offenders are putting an unfair burden on the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who are hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers. By enacting these additional consequences, we’re providing additional incentives for the state to receive the money it is owed and we’re keeping scofflaws off the very roads they refuse to pay their fair share to maintain.”

Tax officials in the state say it’s an effective method to get those who are behind in taxes to start paying up. However, some are questioning its validity and fairness since most people use their driver’s license to drive to work and use it as a form of identification for travel, proof of residency and to purchase items that require ID.

Meanwhile, The Empire State has explained that payment plans are available for individuals who can’t pay their entire tax bill in full, according to Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. In addition, vehicle operators that have their licenses suspended can apply for a restricted license.

Perhaps, though, New York’s program is fairer than Louisiana’s, whose threshold for license suspension is just $1,000 in tax debt.

Like this article? Get ECN delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe here.

Comments

  1. If I lose my license due to taxes, I will protest this by taking a horse everywhere. You don;t need a license to ride them, they are legal on all roads, and it would cause a MAJOR traffic problem everywhere I went.

Leave a Comment