Maywood Turns To State To Collect $1.4M In Unpaid Fines From Delinquent Vehicle Stickers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Any Maywood resident who has fines related to delinquent motor vehicle stickers and is looking forward to a tax return might be in for a surprise, said Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., during a town hall held in at Village Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave., on Jan. 31.

According to a Jan. 16 village memo, Maywood officials recently submitted 21,151 records for $1,406,370 to the debt recovery program for “the non purchase of stickers from 2012 to 2017.”

Motorists who live in Maywood are required to purchase current vehicle stickers each year that “must be affixed to the lower right passenger side of the windshield. Failure to properly display a current sticker is subject to fine.”

Senior citizens who are at least 65 years old may obtain one sticker a year for half-off of the regular sticker price of $30.

According the memo, which was drafted by Norfleet, the debt recovery program has accepted 10,602 of those records totaling $736,770. As of November 2017, Norfleet stated, the village has received around $1,000 from the state.

“The Local Debt Recovery Program has identified people who owe an estimate of $14,000 and have collected $11,000,” Norfleet stated, adding that the village is still waiting to receive the rest of the money.

The debt recovery program is the result of a state law that took effect in 2012. The law offers local governments, including municipalities and even school districts, the opportunity to collect debt from citizens who owe money from a range of fines and penalties, including parking tickets, sewer bills, unpaid student fees and ordinance violations.

Maywood was approved to be part of the debt recovery program in 2014. The state comptroller retrieves the money from debtor’s tax refunds, payroll checks and lottery payouts without charging local taxing bodies.

“Debtors must be given initial procedural due process prior to a debt being submitted to the [comptroller],” according to an analysis of the law by Education Law News.

“Pursuant to the agreement, the Comptroller will match its records with those of the local government and deduct the amount owed, plus an administrative fee, prior to issuing a state check for tax refunds, lottery payouts, commercial payment, or payroll checks,” according to the analysis.

After they’re notified, debtors have 60 days to appeal the deduction and if they don’t appeal it, the money is then transferred to the taxing body that is owed. VFP 

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