DENVER (CBS4) – The state of Colorado may be holding back a chunk of  resident’s tax refund money because of unpaid parking tickets.

The state confirms it is trying to collect on debt from 20 years ago. If you were ticketed, the state wants to collect, and at stake is hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The state is currently owed $721 million in outstanding debt,” said Sabrina D’Agosta, Director of Policy and Communications for the State of Colorado’s Department of Personnel and Administration.

Aly Moores was on the state’s list.

“I had no idea what was going on or why they were withholding any money from my return,” Moores said.

Moores received a letter from the Colorado Department of Revenue stating that Central Collections had intercepted a portion of her state income tax refund — $53.05 from an unpaid parking ticket on the Auraria Campus June 3, 2003.

“I have no recollection. It was 10 years ago. Maybe I got a ticket, maybe I didn’t. I honestly don’t remember,” Moores said.

It turns out there are 430,000 active accounts right now the state is trying to collect on.

New last year was a system upgrade that now allows Central Collections to import additional Social Security numbers from agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles to help track people down. When they find them state law allows their state tax refund to be intercepted.

“It applies to any debt owed to a state agency. So it’s not necessarily just tickets,” D’Agosta said.

It was a parking ticket for Moores — one she contested and won.

“I didn’t receive any information regarding the ticket,” she said.

It’s a reminder for people to take care of their parking tickets. If it’s on state property, somehow, some way, the state will find the person and get their money. There is no statute of limitations.

The state agency must have documentation of the debt and prove it followed the proper notification procedure. The records must still exist. Residents can contest the debt. The instructions are on the letter from the state.

RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks


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