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PATAKI ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES TAX AMNESTY

Calling it "one chance for a second chance" and admitting that "hey, nobody's perfect," the Pataki administration announced a tax-amnesty program Wednesday.

State Tax Commissioner Michael Urbach appeared in Buffalo, Syracuse and New York City to kick off the program, which applies to outstanding state income, sales, withholding and some other types of business taxes.

The state hopes to collect $110 million.

From Nov. 1 through Feb. 1, delinquent individuals and businesses may come forward and pay their taxes, plus interest, without being fined or prosecuted criminally.

Those holding out until after Feb. 1 will face additional penalties.

Once people start paying taxes properly, or resume doing so, they tend to comply in the future, Urbach said. No other amnesty will be granted while Pataki is governor, he said.

The last general tax amnesty, in 1986, brought in more than $300 million. One-third of the people who came forward were previously unknown to the tax department.

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