Mayor Dwight C. Jones has issued the following statement in response to the letter sent by the City's Department of Finance to the Richmond Tea Party, and was subsequently released by the Richmond Tea Party to the public:
"In response to the recent allegations regarding a letter sent to the Richmond Tea Party, the City of Richmond did not target the Richmond Tea Party by sending them a routine letter about overdue tax filings.
"In March 2011, a list of more than 700 potentially non-compliant accounts was generated in the City’s Finance Department, by an automated financial system. Since the list was generated, it has been manually reviewed for accuracy. As part of this continuing process, more than 300 letters have been sent to those entities determined to be out of compliance for tax filing or payments. This letter means that either returns have not been filed or taxes are owed. Due to confidentiality laws, the City is prohibited from releasing any details about an individual taxpayer.
"It is unfortunate that the appearance of this routine letter coincides with a separate request from the Richmond Tea Party for a reimbursement of permit fees. These issues are separate and distinct."