A San Ramon resident is listed as the state's most delinquent taxpayer, according to a list published by the California Franchise Tax Board last week. Hasley Minor, founder of tech media website CNet and a funder of Salesforce.com, owes over $10.7 million in back taxes.
"Nearly 90 percent of taxpayers pay the taxes they owe. Those who don't pay contribute to California's tax gap -- the difference between taxes owed to the state and taxes actually paid," FTB's website stated, noting that the state's annual tax gap is estimated to be $10 billion.
Minor, 48, also made last year's list and owed $14.2 million at the time; a lien was place on his property in July 2009. In 2010, Minor told the Bay Citizen that he has made "frigging massive" tax payments and other contributions to the state over the years.
In the same article, Minor said his financial trouble started in the fall of 2008, when Merrill Lynch froze his accounts and placed liens on much of his property to ensure repayment of a $25 million loan, amidst its own financial panic. At the time his accounts were frozen, Minor was engaged in a three-year shopping spree that included a $20 million Bel Air home, $22 million San Francisco home called Le Petit Trianon and $25 million in bids for art at Sotheby's and Christie's, among other expenses. His address is currently listed in San Ramon.
Other area residents listed include San Ramon resident Venkateswar Gundapaneni, who had a lien placed on his property in April of this year for $228,916.18 in owed taxes. Alamo residents James and Deena Crouse are reported to owe $289.223.73 and had a lien placed on their property in March 2009.
The Franchise Tax Board releases a list of the 500 largest state income tax delinquencies twice a year; the delinquencies must total in excess of $100,000 and be subject to a recorded notice of state tax lien. Since inception of this program in 2007, the department has recovered more than $175 million in revenue.