WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 8,900 New Yorkers had their driver's licenses suspended for failing to pay taxes they owe the State.
The suspensions are due to legislation signed into law last year aimed at encouraging individuals who owe more than $10,000 in back taxes to settle their bills with the Tax Department.
"We are sending a clear message to tax delinquents that they either have to pay the taxes they owe, or face real consequences," Cuomo said in a statement. "For many, this message is getting through and as a result thousands of people have come forward to do the right thing and find a way to pay their taxes. Those who haven't are losing their drivers licenses."
More than 17,700 drivers were contacted beginning in August, 2013. Along with the 8,900 suspensions, 6,500 tax debtors have either paid in full or are making payments on their debt, while 2,300 were determined to be ineligible for suspension.
As a result of the program, tax collections increased nearly $56.4 million on a state and local basis – a 34-percent increase over the initial estimate of $42 million.