City names first collections officer

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. ••

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