Batavia signs on to state debt collection program
By Linda Girardi For The Beacon-News December 7, 2012 6:18PM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:37AM
BATAVIA — Aldermen have given the OK to joining the state comptroller’s local debt recovery program to recover uncollected debts owed to the city.
The program, enacted into law a year ago, gives local governments the flexibility to have the state collect unpaid debts for such things as parking tickets, utility bills and school fees.
“We actually do not have a lot of bad debt,” Peggy Colby, Batavia finance director, told members of the Government Services committee.
“With owning our own electric utility, we can shut power off — that’s usually successful in getting debt paid,” Colby added.
According to the program, 100 percent of debt owed can be deducted from a person’s tax refunds, lottery winnings and commercial payment checks.
For a person who is on the state’s payroll, no more than 25 percent of the employee’s disposable income can be deducted to recover a debt.
Certain state checks are exempted, such as the senior circuit breaker program and retirement payments.
Colby said there is no fee associated with the program.