Circuit Court Clerk Jeff Small told voters last year that if they elected him to the eight-year constitutional office, he'd work with the Department of Taxation to begin collecting money owed to the City of Fredericksburg for uncollected court fines and restitution.
After six months on the job, he's met that promise. Former Court Clerk Sharron Mitchell refused to register for the collection program. But Small said this is a huge win for the city and the Circuit Court's Clerks Office.
"As I promised during the campaign, I would work to bring in any uncollected money owed to the Circuit Court," he said Monday. "Part of these monies that are owed but not paid to the court can be collected via tax return interception from the Virginia Dept of Taxation. This is a program that Clerks' around the state participate in but Fredericksburg's Clerk before me chose not to. I don't really know why. On my first day on the job I started the ball rolling, got us registered to participate and now money is coming in."
Small estimated that $2.5 million is owed to the city. The first check was for $2,392.60. He said he will receive the checks on a regular basis.
The Set-Off Debt Collection Program is a legal remedy for collecting delinquent debts owed to Virginia’s administrative government units and courts. The Code of Virginia Set-Off Debt Collection Act and the State Lottery Law, Section 58.1520 through 58.1-535 and Sections 58.1-4000 through 58.1-4028, respectively, authorizes and governs the program. The program is a joint project with the Department of Accounts and the Department of Taxation.