County to expand tax-based POA fine collection outside SD&G

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – The county is looking to branch out on a program to collect Provincial Offences Act fines through taxes.

The six SD&G townships and the City of Cornwall already have a service agreement since 2001 to add fines to the tax bill of a person with an unpaid POA ticket.

Based on a service agreement, nearly 42 per cent of that revenue goes to the City of Cornwall.

Since 2001, the county has been able to collect $38 million from delinquents through a variety of means, such as suspending driver’s licences and sending cases to collections.

SD&G Director of Court Services, Bev Roy, will make a presentation to South Stormont councillors tomorrow night asking to expand that agreement outside the boundaries of SD&G.

The Ontario Municipal Tax and Revenue Association (OMTRA) has been running an inter-municipal pilot project with Ottawa, Mississauga, Toronto, Belleville and Kawartha Lakes, and the best practices for the program were released in March.

Under OMTRA, for example, a person from Oshawa who received a fine in SD&G would have that unpaid fine added to their taxes in Oshawa and then the municipality would forward the money to SD&G. It would also work the same way for a person from SD&G fined in Oshawa.

In order for the expanded OMTRA agreement to go ahead, Roy needs the blessing of all seven councils (a support resolution passed by the six SD&G townships and the City of Cornwall).

According to Roy’s presentation, roughly 200-300 cases go into default, resulting in Cornwall and SD&G missing out on roughly $22 million.

Right now, there are roughly 16,000 cases in default.

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