MILWAUKEE — You are supposed to pay your taxes on time, but some don’t! Some taxpayers owe millions of dollars to the state of Wisconsin, and they’re getting away with it. With the state’s current budget, every dollar is important, so why are some not made to pay up? FOX6′s Contact 6′s Katrina Cravy and the Contact 6 team tracked down six of Wisconsin’s biggest tax offenders — so why can’t the state find them and get what they owe?
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue uses an online list to out Wisconsin’s most delinquent taxpayers. The list includes names, addresses and how much they owe. The list is constantly changing, but its focus is always the same – shame people into paying their fare share.
That’s why Contact 6 wants to find the top six individual tax dodgers in the area.
Number Six on the list is Mike Tarczewski, owner of CarMagazine.com. Tarczewski owes a little less than $1 million. Contact 6′s producer, Josh, found Tarczewski at an east side Milwaukee office. When confronted, Tarczewski slammed the door.
Number Five on the list is James Douglas. Douglas owned Jimmy D’s Steakhouse and owes about $1.2 million in taxes. Contact 6 went to Douglas’ listed address in Wauwatosa but was told through a window he didn’t live there anymore — even though his work truck was parked there on one occasion.
Number Four on the list is William Foley, creator of the original Suburpia sandwich shop. Foley lives in a Milwaukee apartment building and owes close to $1.3 million. Foley called Contact 6 and said he filed Chapter 11. Foley said things are better now, and the state mistakenly charged him taxes he doesn’t feel he owes, and over the years, it’s added up.
Number Three is Charles Monfre. Monfre was charged years ago with disorderly conduct. Monfre owes $1.3 million. Contact 6 producer Josh caught up with Monfre in Wauwatosa. He denied being Charles Monfre but his neighbors confirmed it’s him.
Number Two is Mark Poborsky. He’s on the hook for $1.8 million. State records show him at a company called “Design Design, Inc.” Corporate records show the company dissolved in 2011. There was no answer at his apartment off of Teutonia Avenue.
The Number One most delinquent taxpayer in the state is Malini Ganeshapillai – a former employee at the state’s Department of Commerce! Ganeshapillai is serving 16 years for stealing from the state and securing phony loans from banks. Her debt to Wisconsin is nearly $2.7 million.
How are people on this list seemingly allowed to get away with not paying taxes? Former Director of Tax and Fiscal Policy Dennis Collier says the state isn’t doing enough, and the Department of Revenue needs more resources and investigators.
“There’s not enough investment right now in tax enforcement. It’s gone downhill greatly over the last 10 years and it’s costing the state at least a couple a hundred million dollars every year,” Collier said.
Collier says from every dollar the state would spend, they would get at least $8 back, but the department’s top collector, Secretary Rick Chandler says it’s not that easy. “We know there are some cases where taxpayers are using the legal process to resist our efforts,” Chandler said.
Chandler cannot legally talk about individual taxpayers, but generally says some hid their assets and others leave the state. Others declare bankruptcy – which protects them.
“That’s frustrating to us just as it is to our neighbors. So we’ll continue to use every tool we have until we can eventually get them to pay what they owe,” Chandler said.
Until then, the delinquent taxpayer list goes on, serving as a reminder of those who either can’t or won’t pay up.
CLICK HERE to see the Wisconsin Top 100 Delinquent Taxpayer List
CLICK HERE to file a complaint with FOX6′s Contact 6