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Madison Senator wants to print names of tax scofflaws in newspaper


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - For seven years, the “Web Site of Shame” has embarrassed many Wisconsin tax scofflaws into paying up.

Now, a state lawmaker wants to put those names in the newspaper, in the hopes of collecting even more.

Senate Democrat Fred Risser of Madison has asked his colleagues to co-sponsor a bill to publish the names of delinquent taxpayers four times a year. They’d appear in the state government’s official newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison.

Risser says lots of folks still read the paper. And before the state raises taxes, he tells WISC-TV it should collect the existing taxes that people owe.

Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler says he’s trying. His department has asked lawmakers for an extra $14 million to catch more tax cheaters, and crack down on fraudulent claims for payments.

Senate Republican Frank Lasee of De Pere proposed the “Web Site of Shame” in 2006. It lists those who owe more than $5,000 in overdue state taxes. Chandler says the site has brought in up to $31 million a year in delinquent taxes.