It's that time of year again when the Board of Equalization bares its teeth and shames the state's biggest sales tax delinquents.
You know that extra bit of change you pay that makes a conveniently priced bottle of soda cost $1.08? Well, it's supposed to go to the government. Some companies, however, have been taking liberties with this process.
As was the case last year, the state's No. 1 sales tax scofflaw is California Target Enterprises in Downey, Calif. Last year we tracked down the landlord of the building California Target lists as its headquarters; it was a dentist who says he has one of three flats in an office park (a tax company and storefront church have the other two). Calls to Cal Target's listed phone number were picked up by a befuddled older woman. She had no idea why the company listing her phone number owed the state $18.1 million. She likely is equally confused as to why Cal Target owes $18.3 million in the present day.
The No. 2 sales tax holdout remains unchanged as well. Last year, Oakland's C & JD USA, Inc. owed $15.8 million. Now it's up to $16.3 million.
Board spokeswoman Anita Gore said the top scofflaws' totals have grown in the past year simply due to interest adding up on their debts. "It is in everyone's best interest to pay up," she says. "It does accrue."
Northern Californians can take heart that nine of the Top-10 sales tax
scofflaws hail from Southern California. So we've got that going for us.
Which is nice. We are not all sales tax saints, however. The following San Francisco individuals or companies have made the Board of Equalization's blacklist: