The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 19, 2013

Income offset program bringing money into city

By Katie Dahlstrom
Assistant Editor

CLINTON — The city of Clinton collected more than $125,000 in delinquent bills using the income offset program.

Since the city started using the program in January, it has brought in $103,948 through offset.  

“That’s of course money that we didn’t have before,” City Attorney Jeff Farwell said. “The prior procedure was to just send everything to lien. If you didn’t own property though in town, it wouldn’t do any good.”

Using the income offset program also allows the city to sidestep the lengthy lien process in some cases, shortening the time the city has to wait to get paid.  

“My personal favorite is the casino. When someone wins out there and it’s a recordable amount, it shows up. So they go to the window and they’re informed. We get our cut and they get whatever’s left,” Farwell said.  

Another $22,012 in payments were made at city hall by customers who had received income offset letters.

In total the city has collected $125,961 using the system. The city continues to receive small amounts using the system even though property tax season has ended.  

“Overall, I find that the use of the income offset system brought a level of effectiveness to our collection efforts that we have not seen in prior years,” City Administrator Jessica Kinser wrote in a memo to members of the city’s Internal Operations Committee.  

As the city moves forward with the income offset system, it will need to decide what accounts to enter into the system and what ones to send through the lien process.