Delinquent magistrate court costs can now be recouped from state tax refunds

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Magistrate Court recently implemented a policy that will hopefully enable it recoup more than a couple bucks in unpaid court costs.

Chief Magistrate Mike Coffman said Tuesday the statewide policy, known as tax interception, went into effect Monday, Nov. 19.

The policy, outlined in West Virginia Code 50-3-2a, says that individuals are given one year from the date of the assessment of court costs, fines and fees to pay up, and they may even arrange a payment plan.

However, if after that year, the balance of fees, fines, forfeitures or restitution is still outstanding, the state tax commissioner can withhold a person’s income tax refund.

Some of the amount withheld from personal income tax refunds is remitted to the magistrate court, according to documents provided to My Buckhannon from Coffman’s office.

“It’s a statewide change,” Coffman explained Tuesday. “One year after a person’s (magistrate) court fines are assessed, and they haven’t paid them, then the state can go after their state income tax return.

“A lot of people we deal with don’t have a lot of money, so it would have to be taken out of their personal income tax returns,” he added.

Coffman noted people owing money to the court may make arrangements to make payments on a payment plan for six months.

Part of the money taken out of personal income tax refunds is funneled back into the magistrate court system, but another portion of it goes to the state and is then redistributed for a variety of purposes, including courthouse improvement, courthouse security, law enforcement training and more.

Coffman said this policy has been bantered about for quite some time.

“It’s been talked about for years, and in the last four to five years, they got it worked out with the state tax department,” he said. “We’re just like most other counties – we have thousands and thousands of people that owe money.”

Coffman noted that anyone who doesn’t remit their court costs, fines and fees may also lose their driver’s licenses; however, there’s now what the chief magistrate referred to as a “second-chance” program wherein a payment plan may be established, and as long as payments are made on time, the person may be issued a “second chance” valid driver’s license.

According to state code, the tax interception policy authorizes the state to withhold from personal income tax refunds not only unpaid fines and costs in magistrate criminal actions, but also in magistrate criminal appeals to circuit courts as well as for instances of failure to appear in court.

Featured

SHOPS & SERVICES

Consolidated board determines North Kanawha will remain a two-way street

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted to keep North Kanawha Street a two-way street after previously considering making it a one-way road. The CPWB took up two previously discussed traffic items during their Jan. 26 meeting. The board […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Barbour County man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile in his care

BUCKHANNON — A Barbour County man who is listed on the West Virginia State Police’s Sex Offender Registry has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in his care. Kenneth D. Call, 52, of Belington, W.Va., was […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Buckhannon: Then & Now – Big snow in Upshur County

Buckhannon: Then & Now. Join us in showcasing Upshur County throughout history and today. Much like today, Buckhannon has experienced major snow accumulations throughout history. Pictured here, Buckhannon received a record breaking accumulation of 40

County commission tasks new owner of Holly Apartments with cleaning up the site, will reevaluate in 90 days

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has given the new owners of the Holly Apartments building in Adrian 90 days to clean up the property. The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

B-U claims 11 conference titles, finishes second at Big 10 Swim Championships on Saturday

BRIDGEPORT — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School girls and boys swim teams collected 11 gold medals, two conference records and a second-place overall finish at the Big 10 Championships in Bridgeport on Saturday. The host Indians won the combined team event, […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Wesleyan lacrosse picked fifth in MEC preseason poll

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan women’s lacrosse has been selected to finish fifth in the Mountain East Conference, the league announced today. WVWC totaled nine points in the vote. Frostburg State and Notre Dame College tied

Swim Bucs head into Saturday’s conference championship meet coming off strong final performance at home

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys and girls swim teams will head into the Big 10 Conference Championships on Saturday with the current at their backs after winning 10 events in their final home meet of the season. The […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Owens steps down as head coach of Lady Bobcat soccer program

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Richard Owens has resigned as head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer program, WVWC Athletic Department announced on Thursday. Owens spent five seasons as head coach of the Lady Bobcats,

SHOPS & SERVICES

This Week in West Virginia History: Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Charleston, WV – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Jan. 29, 1903: The great rhododendron was designated the