Some of the highest-paid people in state government have been caught up in the Georgia Department of Revenue’s latest search for potential tax deadbeats. The employees’ names haven’t been made public. But an analysis done by the department at the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s request shows that 62 state employees earning more than $125,000 a year did not file a state tax return in 2002. Included are 27 employees at Georgia Tech, 13 at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and 10 at the University of Georgia.
State workers and their taxes became an issue July 1, when Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham announced that his department had compared the list of people who receive W-2 forms from the state against income tax filings for 2002. The findings: more than 23,000 state employees – 13 percent of government workers, including part-timers and temps – did not file tax returns in 2002. They may have had some taxes withheld from their paychecks, but many may still owe. “We found that the problem is systemic,” Graham said. “It’s not just the lower wage-earner, the seasonal worker.” The audit of state workers is part of an ongoing crackdown on tax delinquents. Last fall, the department gave long-delinquent taxpayers, who collectively owe the state more than $1 billion, a chance to pay up, and then started posting their names on the Internet.