Thomas Knudsen last week became the city’s first chief revenue collections officer.
The city is owed more than a half-billion dollars in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties, a subject that comes up just about every time city taxes are discussed.
Mayor Michael Nutter named Knudsen to the new post on April 3. Creating the position, according to a Nutter administration news release, was recommended by FTI Consulting, which studied the city’s collection process.
“The new collections officer will work with city departments involved with billing but whose main purpose is basic service, such as the Police, Fire and Streets Departments,” according to the release. “Knudsen, whose salary will be $160,000, will identify negative trends in collections and develop corrective actions; he will share best practices among city departments and develop new methods to encourage departments to increase collections.”
“Tom Knudsen has demonstrated in a number of assignments — from turning around PGW to acting as chief recovery officer at the Philadelphia School District — that he understands finance and the management of large complex organizations,” Nutter said. “His skill set is perfectly suited to the recommendation from our consultant, FTI, that we establish a chief revenue collections officer with the goal of focusing on revenue collections. Ultimately, our goal is to collect every dime that is owed the city of Philadelphia.”
The mayor also announced that Revenue Commissioner Keith J. Richardson has accepted a position with the Philadelphia Housing Authority and that his replacement will be Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, and that David J. Perri, the Streets Department Deputy Commissioner for Transportation, will become acting Streets Commissioner. ••