The California Tax Franchise Board today released a list of the state's 500 biggest delinquent taxpayers who together owe almost $233 million in unpaid state income taxes. On the list are Hollywood celebrities including model and actress Pamela Anderson and director of "The Notebook," Nick Cassavetes.
Halsey Minor, founder of technology news site CNET, is still the biggest delinquent taxpayer as he was a year ago. He and his wife, Shannon, whose address is listed as San Francisco, owe over $10.4 million. Their tax lien was filed on July 21, 2009. Their debt fell from over $13.1 million a year ago.
Since at least 2010, Anderson has remained on the list, published twice a year.
The former Baywatch star and Playboy playmate is listed as owing $524,241 for a tax lien filed on April 7, 2009. That's up from $493,144 she was listed as owing one year ago. Anderson's residence is listed as Woodland Hills, 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Almost 90 percent of taxpayers pay the taxes they owe, according to the board. However, California's annual budget deficit is estimated to be $10 billion, up from $6.5 billion a year ago, according to the board. California lawmakers have been shuffling to make up for the expected disappointing spring revenue from corporate income and sales taxes. Gov. Jerry Brown will issue his budget revision in May.
Cassavetes is listed as owing $273,003 for a lien filed on June 16, 2010. A spokesman for Cassavetes declined to comment.
The state's Tax Franchise Board has compiled a list since 2007 of 250 top tax delinquents who owe at least $100,000, according to Denise Azimi, board spokeswoman. Legislation passed last fall, the Delinquent Taxpayer Accountability Act, expanded the list to 500 people and put in place other tools to force those listed to pay taxes, including suspending driver's licenses for some listed starting in July.
Since 2007, the tax board said it has recovered more than $118 million in revenue.
Joseph Francis, creator of "Girls Gone Wild," and his film company, Mantra Films, Inc., owe over $1.2 million for a lien filed Feb. 6, 2009.
Music video filmmaker Mark Romanek, and his handbag designer wife, Bridgette, owe $353,030 for a tax lien filed April 14, 2009.
Edra Blixseth, a former billionaire businesswoman, owes over $3.1 million for a lien filed Oct. 16, 2008.
Azimi said the tax board sends certified letters notifying 500 delinquent taxpayers that they are candidates for the list at least 30 days before it is published. The current list, which is fewer than 500 people, accounts for those who did not act to lower their debt.
"Everything in the tax world is confidential with this exception," she said.
Once on the list, you will be removed once you start paying your debt and are no longer part of the biggest deadbeats.
"We don't people to be on the list. We work with people to be compliant," she said, including offering installment payment plans. "Or you give us an offer of compromise that we'll accept."
She said the board also does not list taxpayers in bankruptcy or those who are currently in appeal or litigation with the board.