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29Aug2012 Statement

29Aug2012 Statement

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Published by: anon_18444230 on Aug 29, 2012
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08/29/2012

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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Eric J. Weinmann Tel: (832) 393-3338 Email: eric.weinmann@houstontx.gov FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COUNCILMEMBER BURKS RESPONDS TO TAX ALLEGATIONS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012 [Houston, Texas] – Today, Councilmember Andrew C. Burks, Jr., Houston City Council, At-Large Position 2, responded to Chris Moran’s statements concerning Councilmember Burks’s tax situation. Councilmember Burks made the following response: “The allegation is an unfortunate mischaracterization of my family small business and takes a minor administrative confusion out of context. As a hardworking entrepreneur, I know the struggles and sacrifices that go in to building a business. Sometimes, good faith mistakes happen. They are corrected, and you move on. “Between 2006 and 2009, many of my customers included religious institutions and nonprofit organizations. These organizations are exempt from paying sales tax. Over the course of these four years, I did not file some tax exemption declaration certificates. During a standard audit by the state Comptroller’s Office, it was found that I should have submitted tax exempt forms As a result; I had to pay the nonprofit organization’s portion of sales tax. “This is not an uncommon problem nor is it noteworthy in anyway. Any small business owner or manager knows minor good faith tax mistakes happen, and are easily correctable. I reached an agreement with state tax authorities through standard procedure. Since last year, I have been paying down this debt.”

Councilmember Burks has called for smarter, more efficient collection of city debt. Too often in the past, the City of Houston has attempted to raise fees and the cost of doing business to compensate for the lack of ability to collect on other forms of debt, including ambulance and delinquent ad valorem bills. Burks said “having balanced revenue collection is vital to maintaining city services, police and fire. We need to review our strategy to the benefit of Houston families, seniors and business owners.” The councilmember will continue to focus on public safety, infrastructure and economic development for the City of Houston.

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