If you’re someone who owes the state of Oregon at least $50,000 in taxes, your name is public record. And for the first time ever, anyone can easily look it up.
Of the few hundred businesses and individuals who made the list, many are located around Central Oregon.
The Oregon state legislature directed the Department of Revenue to start this public shaming back in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic put it off. The site went live on Friday.
Oregon is not the first state to go down this road of public shaming according to Rudy Owens, public information officer at the Department of Revenue.
“As of late spring, 19 states were doing similar things with regards to publicly providing what information could be shared in a legal way about those who owe taxes to the state,” he said.
Central Oregon Daily News attempted to speak with several businesses on the list.
Two of the more well-known businesses are Dakine Grindz, a shave ice business in Bend, and the Sunriver Marketplace, the main grocery store in Sunriver. As of Friday afternoon, neither were willing to comment on the publication of the list.
The Revenue Department said affected taxpayers received their first warning notice in late May. Those who did not contact the department to clean up their debt were sent a second letter.
The biggest number on the list, a whopping $27 million is owed by American Patriot Brands. The company, based in Medford, is also under federal investigation for defrauding investors.