IOW to seize license plates

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Delinquent personal property taxpayers in Isle of Wight could face confiscation of their vehicles’ license plates beginning next week, said Treasurer Judith Wells.

On Sept. 20, Virginia Auction & Collection Co. will begin seizing license plates from vehicles of delinquent taxpayers and taking them to the treasurer’s office. Wells estimated on Monday about 200 taxpayers are at risk.

In most situations, taxpayers will be required to pay their bill to get their license plates back.

“We don’t mind working with someone if they’ve got a legitimate cause,” Wells said.

Earlier this year, the county began contracting with Virginia Auction & Collection Co. The company towed cars of taxpayers owing more than $500 and left a notice for taxpayers owing less than $500 to contact the treasurer’s office to pay or set up a payment plan.

Since initially contracting with Virginia Auction & Collection Co., the county has collected about $740,000 in delinquent personal property taxes.

“It has been a good tool, but I’d rather for people to come in and talk to us,” Wells said.

While a number of residents set up payment plans for their delinquent tax bills, many have not kept the obligation, she said.

“We’re checking to see who has kept and who has not,” Wells said. “I need these people to call to see what is going on. It could be some legitimate things, but they need to call us.”

Wells said delinquent taxpayers should contact her office at 365-6254 or 365-6217.