St. Clair Co. officials to use tax returns to collect owed fines

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by Lauren Trager / News 4 | @LaurenTrager

KMOV.com

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 1:27 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 1:40 AM

 (KMOV) – Officials in St. Clair County become very aggressive when it comes to collecting millions owed to them.

For example, you can’t get a new driver’s license there now if you haven’t paid up on court fines or fees. But now, the county could also be going after people’s tax returns.

“We can’t win for losing that way,” said Shon House.

House knows he has to pay off fines from a driving violation in 2008. But he can’t stand for the county’s new plan to collect.

“Now they are talking about taking your money from your taxes, that’s not right,” House said.

St. Clair county leaders thousand say nearly 40,000 people owe them close to $10 million, money that would be going back to the taxpayers in the form of services.

State representative Jerry Costello II voted for the law that gives any governmental agency the authority to garnish people’s state income tax returns if they owe fines or fees.

Say for example you’re getting a return of a $1,000 if you owe the same amount to St. Clair County, they could take the whole check.

“To be very blunt with you the burden is on the taxpayers, this is helping the law abiding tax payers and citizens,” Rep. Costello said.

The county tells us they’re still in the process of setting it all up 

Stay with News 4 on when the new law will go into effect. 

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