Thursday, April 9, 2009

DeKalb fails to collect millions in business fees

In addition to Recorders Court not able to account for 90-120 million dollars, now the county has lost between 5 - 7 million dollars a year in uncollected business license fees since 2007.

Another example of the inept leaders put in place by Vernon Jones. Mike Bell, who is to over see the collections of business license fees, should be terminated first thing tomorrow.

Thank you Vernon Jones and supporters.

Click here for AJC article

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok - I stumbled on this one as well. As much as I dislike Michael Bell - enforcing businesses paying their license fees is NOT his department. His department sends out the notices - then, if the license is not renewed - then Code Enforcement is sent out to check to see if the business is still doing business - or, to issue a cease and desist if the license has not been renewed. Has this changed? And - who used to be over Code Enforcement....TeBo!!!!

Anonymous said...

Institutional stupidity....again.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of DeKalb County elected officials crying wolf about budget problems, when so much of it is self-inflicted. Lee May, Connie Stokes and Larry Johnson whine and whine about Dunwoody, using the race card to do it.

Yet the county is owed millions uncollected by the Recorders Court and now business license fees.

Enough f-ing whining. Collect every damn penny that's owed, and get the PD the equipment it needs to get the job done right.

Slamin Ethel said...

Im sick and tired of being sick and tired.
So we put our live's on the line everyday just to be told
"Oh by the way no pay raises this year" seems there is a budget shortfall.
And the truth is it has nothing to do with the economy, but more to do with the millions stolen from this corrupt place by corrupt personell.
Vernon down right blows, as well as Tebo, both have lined their wallets right nicley Id bet, please I beg of you two "STOP BREATHING"!
Rock on Chief O'Brien.

Anonymous said...

A quote from the AJC article, “Consultants paint a picture of a business permitting operation in disarray.”
Hell, the ENTIRE DeKalb County government is in disarray! CEO Ellis needs to start putting his boot on some people’s ass and fire these incompetent Vernon Jones leftovers. Either start doing the job that the taxpayers are paying you to do or get out!!
Of course Lee May and Larry Johnson will cry like four year olds if CEO Ellis fires some people and holds people accountable. But it seems to me that they cry about EVERYTHING so just ignore them.

Anonymous said...

Friends taking care of their friends. Also, this is the tip of the iceburg regarding who has to pay Dekalb's business permits, property taxes, HVAC inspections, etc.
While researching commercial properties a few years back, I was amazed at how many had no listed prices for assessments or prior sales.
What it all adds up to is old timed Tammany Hall style graft:
Those that aren't your friends, campaign contributors, or
periodic bribers have to pay for the taxes, permits, licenses, etc.
Your buddies get a leg up on the competition by having all those pesky extra expenses waived.
Final shot- how many of the
"interesting" businesses located on Northlake Parkway are up to date on all their permits, licenses, and property taxes?

Anonymous said...

It appears that the whole United States is in this mess due to no one other than decent law abidding citizens paying taxes and etc...And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see there are very few law abidding citizens left in DeKalb.

You may as well stop bitching and moaning Burell Ellis has been in DeKalb government for at least 10 years and has not and I repeat not done a single thing in all those years but cry and whine about Ole Vern not being his buddy no mo. So shame on all of you for thinking he fired Bolton to help us, he fired him cause he is a yellow belly, spineless wimp. Give it up and punch in punch out don't run code 1 to anything other than assist another officer, make sure you go home to the real folks in your life. I owe DeKalb NOTHING and I will do nothing except collect my pay.

Frustrated said...

Those are big numbers that could have been used to stem the tide of officers leaving Dekalb!

How could we have used those dollars and the dollars that Recorders Court left on the table?

How many tasers?
How many patrol cars?
How many onboard cameras?
How many more officers?
How much more in the pay check?
How many new quality side arms
instead of the cheaper
S&W alternative?
How many officers could have been
put thru drug interdiction
training?
How many more canines to cover
open shifts?
How many drug arrests?
How much money could we have taken
from the drug dealers?

PJH said...

Again, problems with the computer system and inadequate training. That's the story of DeKalb government.

To the first Anon commenter: If Bell's job is not to enforce, then how does Code Enforcement know which businesses need to be checked?

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer here, something keeps screwing up my Google account passwords. The long time manager of business license retired several years ago. He was a good manager and I was constantly over at his office for various issues. he retired about three years ago, and I have only been to the office once since. I suspect the new manager is not as professional as his predicesor. If Dale would investigate a few departments we could probably make some headway against inefficiency in our government. Purchasing, HR-Merit system, Recorders Court and Business License would be a good start...Where are the Grand Juries, Gwen? Why do we have to depend upon Dale Russell to break the cases in DeKalb?

Anonymous said...

I make comments on this blog, not because I hate Dekalb County or any specific person. I make comments because I love Dekalb and what it once was and I want more than anything to help get it straightened out.Thanks to Dale Russell and the blog guy's who run this site for getting the truth out.

Anonymous said...

Joe Stone. What a fool. It's unbelievable that this guy is still head of DeKalb County Human Resources making well over $1000k per. The stories I've heard of shady hires by HR go on and on and on. And I can say this as a black man: some county departments intentionally only hire blacks. Parks & Rec. being the main culprit.

And remember Lance Robertson, Vernon's former Asst. Chief of Staff, who was living in a condo owned by Vernon, and then was accused of rape at the hotel holding a big birthday bash for Vernon? Joe Stone allowed Lance Robertson to be hired without a background check, which is county policy. A background check would have meant no job for Lance, who had a previous conviction.

Why hasn't Burrell Ellis cleaned house yet?

PJH said...

LoFlyer,

Who is the manager of business licenses for DeKalb? Is this person ultimately the one responsible for the collections failures?

LoFlyer said...

PJH, the new manger is Monroe Scott, I had to look it up in the directory because I have little contact with the division anymore. The old manager was Larry, can't remember the last name. I noticed the division is now Alcohol and Business license, I assume they now control the alcohol licensing also. I have no idea who enforces business licenses, from what I am hearing it is Code enforcement, I assume that the alcohol licensing would be also enforced by code enforcement. (a lot of assumptions and I supspect I am wrong on some of this) The Business license manager should be noting a drop in the business licenses and reporting the drop to his managers. I wonder if alcohol licenses have been dropping also...

Anonymous said...

Everytime Vernon ran for an office, Joe Stone made big campaign contributions.

PJH said...

Thanks for the info LoFlyer.

I checked out the web site for the Office of the Director of Finance for DeKalb and found these nuggets:

"Planning/Zoning & Sign Approvals

The Zoning Department reviews all new applications and changes of addresses to ensure compliance with zoning regulations for that business location. They must approve the business activity to be conducted at that location prior to issuance of a Business and Occupational Tax Certificate."

If the Finance Dept. or Business License Manager does not have records of businesses then does the Zoning Department? Or has Zoning also dropped the ball?

"Business License Renewals

Once your business has obtained a Business License Certificate, a courtesy “Request for Information Form” renewal notice will automatically be mailed to you at the end of each year. Request for Information Forms should be completed and returned prior to February 1st of each year. The Request for Information Form enables us to compare estimates with actual figures, and results in the generation of the Occupational Tax Billing Statement.. If you do not receive a renewal notice, please contact Business Licensing. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business ownership of responsibility to renew the business registration."

Also this:

"Change of Business Activity, Business Location or Ownership

A business License Certificate is not transferable. The certificate is terminated when business ownership changes. It also becomes inactive when a business changes location. Changes in business activity/description require zoning approval. Advise the Business License Office immediately of any changes to your business registration application, especially if the business has ceased to operate."

So it's up to the business to apply, renew, and notify about changes. No mention of enforcement except for this:

"Business License Inspection Supervisor at 404-371-2772 or the section Manager at 404-371-2948."

Methinks the Business License Inspection Supervisor and section Manager have a lot to answer for.

PJH said...

Oh, and this guy too:

Eugene C. O'Mard

Deputy Director Internal Audit & Business Licensing Division


The Division of Internal Audit and Licensing provides an independent appraisal of County operations to ensure compliance with laws, policies, and procedures. It reviews and evaluates the effectiveness of internal controls to determine their ability to safeguard the County's assets, assesses the validity and reliability of fiscal operations, promotes managerial policies. The Licensing section is responsible for the collection of all monies due the County relating to business license and alcoholic beverage license issuance.

Email: dof_ia@co.dekalb.ga.us
Phone: 404.371.2977
Fax: 404.371.2755

LoFlyer said...

Internal auditing seemed to be a lot more effective 20 years ago, now they just hire some auditng contractor (KPMG or something like that), who generally reports what ever their employer is concerned about at the time. I have been in the county nearly 25 years, and I had forgotten Internal audit even existed except when they want me to something for them. Auditors have a place in government along with the Grand Juries. These are tools our employers, the BOC and CEO can use to investigate the many issues of a decade of bad decisions and poor government and poor hiring practices. OT, The economy is in the tank, and the county has not done a pay study in 12 years. We can't even hire people to do my job any more, the pay scale is so low, instead we rely on higher paid contractors and low paid interns to fill our positions with varied results, due to the the inexperience of both.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does it seem like if we got rid of all the incompetent Vernon loyalists and all of the CORRUPT Vernon loyalists, there would be enough money for take home cars for every cop, new bullet proof vests, new guns, tasers, and every other high tech gadget a cop might need to make DeKalb safer???

DeKalb's budget shortfalls are no where near as bad as what Atlanta is experiencing, but we wouldn't have ANY shortfalls if we got rid of all of the Vernon Jones baggage and hired competent, ethical people!! It seems to me we would still have a budget surplus, even in these rough economic times, if it wasn't for VERNON JONES' douche bags committing fraud, giving unapproved tax breaks, etc...

Anonymous said...

That's a good point about all the dept. heads and administrators who were hired by Vernon still being on the county payroll. Why hasn't Burrell Ellis cleaned house yet?

Also, CEO Ellis and Dr. Bell have not made a public comment yet about the millions in uncollected business license fees. Everyone is screaming about the lack of revenue, but between business license fees and the Recrders Court, there are tens of millions uncollected.

Why won't the CEO speak about this publicly? Also makes you wonder is there are other county departments not properly collecting revenue, fees, taxes. atc.

LoFlyer said...

About Recorders court and uncollected revenue, I have an update. A source informs me that only thirty million in tickets is involved. A warrent is supposed to be served for unpaid and no-shows at court. No one will serve the warrents. Niether DKSO nor DeKalb Marshalls will serve the warrents. it will cost approximately 400 grand a year to pay to have the warrents served by a private company. Revenue generated by RC (25 million a year) is dumped into the general fund and RC has no control over it, or they would have diverted funds to serve the warrents. DKPD does not serve warrents, but maybe they should get into the business. For you retired DKPD cops, if you could finangle a deal with BOC and RC, you could make some nice income, you would have to start a company and probably provide a bond and some guarentees. RC has been looking at an Atlanta company staffed by retired Atlanta cops to do the job. But the BOC will not provide the funding is my understanding of the issue.....

Long Time Rookie said...

Loflyer,
Everytime I run someone on NCIC/GCIC, it checks to see if they are wanted. I arrested lots of people on foriegn (from other jurisdictions) warrants for Failure To Appear with a misc. notes about "traffic violation" or "traffic charges".

Before my time, but.....It is my understanding that Dekalb stopped listing their Failures to Appear after they had a problem with taking the warrants off the system once they were served. They do atleast check for outstanding tickets when we arrest and lodge suspects.

Another management/Execution problem.

Anonymous said...

In order for a failure to appear warrant to be listed in the NCIC/GCIC database the county has to purchase the software from the state then anytime that person encounters a police officer anywhere in the state of Georgia, their name is ran it would show them wanted in DeKalb on traffic charges. DeKalb head recorders court judge Walker refuses to get the permission and/or money from the commissioners to fund this. Also the DeKalb SO refused to transport these folks if it is a long way away for what they call a simple traffic warrant. So once again it shows that all areas of DeKalb is ran by MORONS. You have to spend a little of money to make money. Do you know how many of those traffic violators that don't show up actually live in other counties and rarely every come through DeKalb so the chance of us collecting is little to NONE...

Anonymous said...

I don't know what software Recorder's Court supposedly needs to put warrants on NCIC/GCIC. Sounds like a made up excuse to me. They USED to do it.

S.O. won't pick up perps far away if it is a minor offense?? So what?? That's true of a LOT of offenses and is true of a lot of jurisdictions! You obviously aren't running a lot of people on NCIC/GCIC if you have never seen a wanted hit come back that says "No Extradition outside of 50 miles." It's a fairly common thing for minor offenses.

Putting the FTA's on NCIC/GCIC will result in a lot of perps being rounded up by PD pulling people over for new traffic violations. So even if S.O. is too lazy to do their job and serve the warrants, quite a few, if not most, will eventually be picked up by PD. Let's face it, most people get more than 1 ticket in their life. If they got 1 tickets, they're probably going to get another one sometime in the near future. When that happens, the FTA will show up and they're en route.

We obviously don't have knowledgeable, intelligent people running the show: just people making excuses for their own laziness and incompetence.

Senor Poe Poe said...

Putting FTA's on the system will result in a large number being picked up by PD.....same goes for working with Immigration.

If Immigration just went through the suspects we arrest for "driving without a license", public intox, DUI etc.....we'd see a huge number of illegals being deported.

As police officers, we come into contact with and arrest a large number of suspects that should be "visited in jail" by others that could benefit by our brining these suspects to a central, secure location.

Three cheers for Gwinnett!

Now all we need is a worker visa at the federal level and a class of state drivers licenses that is revoked or suspended automatically when the visa expires.

That my friends is a way to control illegal immigration and give these individuals the opportunity to work here legally.