Arkansas Making Headway on Tracking Unpaid Sales Taxes

JULY 25, 2005 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Stepped up efforts to get a better handle on what's owed Arkansas in overdue sales taxes apparently are paying off.

The amount of delinquent state sales taxes was $38.5 million in fiscal 1999.  That figure jumped to $90,300,000 in fiscal 2005.

Arkansas Revenue Commissioner Tim Leathers says the stepped up effort and a new law that authorized the state to close businesses that failed to report or pay sales taxes have helped.  Businesses realize now they have to pay the state instead of using the sales tax collected from their customers to pay their bills.

Under the law, 2,901 business-closure orders have been issued and 1,035 businesses either already were closed or voluntarily closed upon receiving the order.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)