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The city of Los Angeles could recover more than $20 million in tax revenue by teaming up with county and state tax collection agencies, Los Angeles city Controller Ron Galperin said Wednesday.

The controller released a report recommending that state, county and city agencies work together to ensure that all tax revenue owed to these agencies are accounted for, and identifying areas that could lead to more tax revenue going to the city.

The audit found that the county, which is responsible for collecting taxes on the personal property of businesses and then remitting a portion of the tax revenue back to the city, appears to have only a partial list of businesses that may need to pay such taxes, Galperin’s audit found.

The city has a list of 380,000 registered businesses, but the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office only has 91,974 registered businesses on record, according to Galperin.

Galperin proposed working with the assessor’s office identify more businesses that may need to pay taxes on personal property.

The city could also be losing out on $19.2 million in sales tax each year because some businesses report different sales figures to the state and city, according to the audit.

He recommended working with the state to ensure that businesses are reporting accurate sales figures to both entities.

State and county agencies “are the city’s tax collectors,” Galperin said. “By working together and sharing information, we can ensure that taxes are applied more fairly and efficiently — which will enable us to use revenues to improve city services, such as street maintenance and infrastructure improvement.”

Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang called Galperin’s report an “unprecedented effort to establish a new collaborative paradigm among those agencies that share responsibility for property taxes.”

“Together, we can identify inefficiencies and establish new processes to share and exchange information that will increase the accuracy, fairness and thoroughness of the property taxation system,” Prang said.

— Wire reports 

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