Unpaid bills could cut into Ill. tax refunds

March 27, 2012

Associated Press

Illinoisans who have unpaid traffic tickets or other bills could be in for a surprise when they get their state income tax refunds.

A law that went into effect this year lets the state withhold tax refund money from people who owe cash to the city of Chicago and some other local governments.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office already has notified more than 40,000 people that their tax refunds will be smaller or nonexistent because they haven't paid their tickets or water bills.

Aurora, Joliet, Springfield, Collinsville and Lakeland Community College in Mattoon are among the other governments participating in the Local Debt Recovery Program.

Topinka spokesman Brad Hahn says about 750 challenges to the program have already been filed.