WEBSTER GROVES, Missouri (KMOV) – A St. Louis County prosecutor admits the government made a mistake when they towed a woman’s vehicle even though she had no violations. But he says it was the woman’s fault.
Cynthia Spence’s car was towed for failure to pay back income taxes to Missouri. The problem is, her federal tax refund had been intercepted by the state. And her taxes had in fact been paid, leaving a balance of only $33.
So she took a day off work and went to the St. Louis County government center, where she was able to explain the mistake and get a release for her car.
But she was stuck with the $130 fee for the tow lot.
Prosecutor Bob McCulloch got the order, or writ, to have the car towed.
He admits that when they towed Spence’s car, they didn’t know the taxes were paid.
“When you actually go seize the car, the county is still under the impression she owes $3,000.
McCulloch says he was not away it had been intercepted and she owed a balance of $33.
On April 18, Spence was notified that her federal return had been seized to pay her back state taxes. One week later, on may 27, the writ was issued to tow her car. Her car was towed on May 9, three week after her state taxes were paid.
But McCulloch says none of that matters because Spence dragged her feet for so long.
“She is responsible. Nobody but this lady is responsible for any of this. She had four years to work with us to pay off this debt and chose to ignore everything,” he said.
The Missouri Department of Revenue on Thursday said ehe electronic notice about Spence’s taxes being paid should have been available to McCulloch’s office several days before the order to tow her car was issued.
But McCulloch says that wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
The department of revenue is offering to speak directly with Spence to see if anything can be done.