The city of Yazoo City joined forces with a state collection agency to begin the process of collecting over a million dollars owed to the city in debt fees.
The agreement with Municipal Intercept Company falls under the Local Government Debt Collection Setoff Act, which gives local governing boards the right to collect certain debts by garnishing state income tax refunds.
The new act “authorizes counties and municipalities to submit certain debts owed to them to the Department of Revenue for collection through a setoff against the debtors’ Mississippi income tax refund.”
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen joined the movement in an effort to collect over a million dollars that is owed to the city through court fees, delinquent fines and more unpaid fees.
Mayor Diane Delaware said that the city is owed $1.2 million in court fees alone.
City Clerk Kaneila Williams said a 25 percent charge is also added to the unpaid debt, which has to be at least $50. Twenty percent will go to the Mississippi Municipal League, which is acting as an agent, and five percent will go to the Department of Revenue.
“The city will get what is owed to them, 100 percent,” Williams said. “But the 25 percent charge will be added.”
The process begins with the county or city governing boards sending a written notice of the debt owed. The debtor has the right to contest by filing a request for a hearing with the local government within 30 days after the initial notice.
“After we send you the communication of the debt, you will have 30 days to participate in a hearing in regard to that debt,” Delaware said. “Should you not appear at the hearing, we would move forward to collect our debt from your state taxes. We will follow our procedures preciously. We will consider all things in regard to our collections, which we should.”