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updated: 9/27/2012 7:34 AM

Cook County plans crackdown on tax violators

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Associated Press

Cook County is trying two new methods to go after unpaid taxes and fines.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's office announced the programs Wednesday, predicting they could bring in $4 million to the 2013 budget.

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New software will allow the county to identify scofflaw businesses that are unregistered and failing to pay taxes. Another program will use an Illinois tax-refund intercept program to collect unpaid fines for traffic violations and civil court penalties going back seven years.

Preckwinkle says the county should be doing more to protect law-abiding taxpayers by collecting all the money it's owed.

Last year, Preckwinkle launched a program to get businesses not paying required "home rule" taxes to self-register with the county. That initiative brought in $1 million in revenue.

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