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- Philadelphia has a problem with hundreds of city employees who owe the city $4.8 million dollars in unpaid taxes! For those tax-delinquent workers who haven’t yet entered into a payment agreement will have their paychecks docked. These means that the city, based on a state law from 1937, will withhold income from these deadbeats. In American English, a deadbeat is someone who avoids paying what they owe. We often hear about deadbeat fathers who don’t pay child support to their ex-wives after a divorce. This word also has a second meaning. We also call someone a deadbeat if they are lazy and don’t want to achieve anything in life. In any case my advise to you is don’t be a deadbeat, pay your taxes or the government will dock your pay!