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License suspensions convince New Yorkers to pay $56 million in tax bills

Thousands of New Yorkers have had their driver's licenses suspended after legislation was approved last year that strips driving privileges to people who fall behind more than $10,000 on their taxes.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Thousands of New Yorkers have had their driver's licenses suspended after legislation was approved last year that strips driving privileges to people who fall behind more than $10,000 on their taxes.

According to the Governor's Office, 96 percent of New Yorkers voluntarily take care of their taxes. The remaining four percent may face audits or collection efforts.

The results are in for the first round of notices:
  • More than 17,000 drivers have been contacted since August
  • Some were later deemed ineligible for suspensions.
  • Nearly 9,000 had their licenses suspended
  • Another 6,500 were convinced to make full or partial payments
The plan is credited with a tax collection increase of $56 million.

Once a notice is mailed, drivers have 60 days to set up a payment plan or a second letter is sent.

If another 15 days pass with no response, the State can direct the DMV to suspend a license until a payment is made.

The State will allow people to apply for a restricted license, so they can drive to work.

They're supposed to return directly home, but police admit there's no good way to know just how many driver's are ignoring suspensions.

Those who do get pulled over and caught face possible arrest and fines, digging a deeper financial hole.

If you've been notified of a possible suspension, you can settle the tax debt or arrange a payment plan by calling the Tax Department at (518) 862-6000 or at the Tax Department’s website.

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