Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Santarsiero Wants to Remove Staples

from the inbox:

State Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero, D-Bucks, today held a press conference to request that the state Department of General Services immediately suspend the state's contract with Staples until the corporation's outstanding state tax obligations are paid in full.

Santarsiero said he recently learned that Staples is on the state Department of Revenue's list of businesses with a tax delinquency totaling more than $850,000. Pennsylvania contracts with Staples to provide office supplies to all government agencies statewide. In addition, Santarsiero said school districts and municipalities may also use this Staples contract to purchase their office supplies at a discount through the COSTARS program.

"This is an issue of fairness for our taxpayers and our businesses," Santarsiero said. "It is time for Staples to stop pocketing Pennsylvanians' tax dollars until they pay up on their state taxes."

Santarsiero said the state offered a tax amnesty program earlier this year to allow thousands of individuals and businesses to pay past due taxes without penalty or interest. Yet nearly 40,000 individuals and businesses, including Staples, remain delinquent in their taxes.

"It is unfair to reward companies that don’t pay their taxes with lucrative state contracts when residents and other businesses continue to pay their taxes on time and in full," Santarsiero said. "One of the top violators is Staples with a tax lien of $850,885 as of April 13, 2010."

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury, Staples has been paid at least $500,000 for purchases on behalf of Commonwealth entities for which the treasury makes direct payment. This does not include purchases through COSTARS or purchase cards or agencies who manage their own payment processing.

In addition to suspending Staples' contract, Santarsiero said he is requesting that DGS investigate all tax delinquents for any other state contractors and halt their payments until their taxes are paid in full.

"It is time that we crack down on national corporations taking advantage of tax-filing loopholes that allow them to shirk their tax obligations while getting state contracts," Santarsiero said. "We have many businesses right here in Pennsylvania who do pay their taxes on time and in full and who would be more than happy to serve our state with a contract."

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