Audit: St. Louis license collector’s office doesn’t verify all business license







St. Louis City Hall

The exterior of the St. Louis City Hall as seen on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com




ST. LOUIS — A state audit says St. Louis License Collector Mavis Thompson’s office doesn’t verify information on all business license applications, such as gross sales and number of employees.

Without verification, the audit said, the office “has no assurance that all taxes and fees paid are accurate and complete.”

The report, issued last week by State Auditor Nicole Galloway, added that there is an increased risk that erroneous information submitted by businesses may go undetected.

The license collector’s office, in a response included in the audit, said verification of information on the approximately 20,000 applications received annually is conducted on an “as needed” basis.

The office also noted that applicants submit a sworn statement certifying that the information is accurate.

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“Follow up is done when irregularities are discovered,” the office said in the response. “Going forward, we will document in the file that the application information has been verified.”

While auditors gave the office an overall rating of “good,” they also had some other criticisms.

Among them: The office did not always perform site inspections of manufacturing facilities to ensure the accuracy of assets declared for tax purposes, as required once a year by state law.



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