California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 19195 directs the Franchise Tax Board to publish an annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with liened state income tax delinquencies greater than $100,000. Each taxpayer is given an opportunity to voluntarily settle their liability with the state before their name appears on the public list.
According to the California Franchise Tax Board, O.J. Simpson, the former all-pro football player acquitted of murder in a high-profile 1995 trial, owes California $1.44 million in back taxes, and Dionne Warwick, a Grammy Award-winning singer, owes $2.67 million.
Another celebrity name on this list of the state's top 250 tax debtors is comedian David "Sinbad" Adkins, who owes $2.14 million.
Tax Board spokeswoman Denise Azimi claims that the top 250 tax debtors owed the state more than $249 million. California, which routinely faces budget shortfalls, has in recent years made a concerted effort to collect overdue taxes. Lawmakers last year approved a web site, which names tax debtors as a form of public shaming.
"Each year, California loses more than $6.5 billion in unpaid taxes," said John Chiang, the state controller and chairman of the Franchise Tax Board. "Hopefully, this action will encourage these taxpayers to come forward, pay what they owe, and quickly help the Franchise Tax Board to remove their names from the list."
You can read the complete list of California's tax offenders.