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Phone Companies Get Amnesty Period to Pay City Taxes

September 07, 1996

The Los Angeles City Council approved a 90-day amnesty period Friday for long-distance and cellular phone companies that have accumulated up to $1.2 million in penalties for failing to pay city taxes.

City officials say they hope that the amnesty period will encourage phone companies to pay up to $3 million in late fees owed to the city.

"Basically, this amounts to a carrot to get them to come in and pay," said Michael Carey, executive officer of the city clerk's office, which collects taxes for the city.

The amnesty will run from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Carey said the companies that owe the back taxes are mostly small firms that have recently began operating in the area.

The city charges the phone companies a 10% tax on their rates. The city expects the tax to generate about $188 million this year.

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