Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Village to allow state AG to collect tax debts

By Leslie Gartrell
FORT RECOVERY - Village council members gave their blessing to allowing village tax administrator Angie McAbee to participate in the Ohio Attorney General's Office debt collection service.
McAbee at Monday night's regular meeting said the state attorney general's office has the legal authority to collect debt owed to the state and offers a free debt collection service. The service would be used to collect fees and unpaid taxes from residents who do not file their income taxes with the village.
"The Ohio attorney general offers a service that they will collect outstanding tax, free of charge to us," she said. "All the fees would be (charged) to whoever they are collecting the taxes from."
McAbee said she normally sends three or four letters to residents who do not file their income taxes with the village. If the village receives no response, McAbee said she can file charges with the court. However, that doesn't guarantee the village will be repaid, she said.
Rather than spending time and resources on the task often to no avail, McAbee said letting the attorney general's office take over collections would lift that burden from the tax department.
"It would be a lot easier for us. I wouldn't have to take anyone to court, I wouldn't have to keep writing them letters," she said. "(The state) has the ability to withhold federal tax refunds, state refunds, (lottery) winnings… to get us our money before (the resident) would get any winnings or tax refunds that were due to them."
With the state handling collections, McAbee said she would still send three to four warning letters to residents who need to pay their income taxes.
"The final letter would state 'This will be turned over to the Ohio Attorney General, you now have 10 days to come in, pay your fine… or set up a payment plan,'" she said. "If they don't follow through, then I will file them (Ohio Attorney General's Office) and then everything will be done through them."
McAbee said numerous villages and municipalities participate in the program with success. She noted once a case has been sent to the attorney general's office for collections it is no longer the village's responsibility. Individuals will need to pay the attorney general's office rather than the tax department, she said.
The village currently has 53 residents who have not filed their income taxes, McAbee said.
"The reason we wanted you guys to know about it is the process will be different and you may hear about it," village administrator Randy Diller told council. "Right now we send them letters… we give them forever, we end up taking them to court, we get a judgement, and then how do we collect? We either have to garnish wages… it's not a done deal."
In other business, Diller said representatives from Poggemeyer Design Group, Bowling Green, will attend the next village council meeting to go over the village's wastewater treatment system study.
The next village council meeting is 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at the village hall.
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