Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner’s latest audit has uncovered three-quarters of a million dollars in unpaid taxes from the Hertz Corporation for underpayment of rental car taxes at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Hertz has indicated the underpayment was a result of a computer error.
“This is a significant recovery for Allegheny County’s taxpayers, which will increase the County’s fund balance by nearly $750,000, an effort I have been committed to since taking office in order to solidify the county’s financial position,” Wagner said. “I am pleased that Hertz has worked cooperatively with my office to identify the problem.”
According to County rules, a two-dollar Rental Vehicle Tax is to be collected per day, per each rented vehicle, by all rental car companies in Allegheny County, including locations at the airport, then remitted to the County Treasurer’s Office on a monthly basis. Wagner’s audit found that Hertz failed to remit $435,577 for operations at the airport. As a result, Hertz is also responsible for $307,530 in applicable penalties and interest, and therefore owes $743,107.
In 2012, Wagner began doing audits of car rental companies at Pittsburgh International Airport, becoming the first controller to perform such audits.  The car rental tax was enacted, along with the “drink tax”, in 2008.
Wagner’s office will initiate an expanded audit of Hertz’s airport submissions back to 2008, when the car rental tax was enacted.
“This audit uncovered three quarter of a million dollars over a 3 year period.  Expanding the scope further back to 2008 may recover even more funds for Allegheny County,” said Wagner. 
The Controller’s office audits rental car companies regularly. Earlier this month, Controller Wagner began an audit of contracts at the Pittsburgh International Airport, as part of a larger effort of contract reviews at county authorities.