Nevada County tightens debt-collection rules
Addressing concerns about Nevada County’s ability to recoup millions of dollars in unpaid debts, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved new rules to tighten collection procedures.The 1997-98 civil grand jury blasted the county Collection Division’s handling of its debts, which currently total about $4.6 million.Outside auditsOutside audits, including one conducted recently by the accounting firm of Smith & Newell in Yuba City, also have called for tighter procedures on debt collection.The supervisors approved new guidelines to oversee the county collections division, which outlines those accounts the county will continue to pursue and those to be referred to a private collection agency.Tuesday’s action also allows the county to clear away old debts that are deemed uncollectible.Those would include debts incurred before July 1, 1995, which are under $250 and on which no payment has been received.After one final billing, those debts will be written off by the Auditor Controller’s Office.Difficult to clearCounty officials have repeatedly stressed these debts are, by their very nature, difficult to clear.They can include patients treated for alcoholism, public-assistance recipients, mental-health patients, jail inmates and the homeless.”We don’t take a credit application for someone fined in court,” noted board chairman Peter Van Zant.Other businessSupervisors also took the following actions:- Approved an interim tax-sharing agreement for Loma Rica property, which Grass Valley plans to annex.The county, the city and the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District have agreed to conduct a fiscal study on the tax revenues, but in the meantime will rely on the temporary agreement.This will allow the Loma Rica property owner to proceed with an annexation and development.- Approved a resolution to sell the former home of Scott Danielson, a former county employee convicted of embezzling county funds.The county now has title to the home at 14739 Nutmeg Court in Penn Valley and has set a minimum price at $120,000.
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