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Town To Write-Off Parking Tickets

A parking pay station in Carolina Beach. The Town will consider writing off uncollected citations at their February 11th, meeting.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  When a Town can't collect parking tickets, they have to write them off their books. The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider writing off $276,634.25 in unpaid parking citations at their upcoming February 11th, meeting at 6:30PM at Town Hall.
According to Town Manager Michael Cramer on November 15, 2011 Town Council adopted a Policy for the Write-off of Uncollectible Accounts Receivables. The policy governs all accounts receivables excluding special assessments.
In a memo to the Council earlier this week, Cramer explained, "Parking Citations have been managed by the town's Parking Consultants for the past several years. During that time the uncollectible accounts receivable have not been identified on the town's account balance and thus have not been written-off utilizing the Write-Off Policy. We have reviewed all outstanding parking citations and have concluded that any uncollected debt over 3 years old should follow the Write-off Policy. We are requesting that Council authorize the Town Manager and Finance Director to write-off 9,249 outstanding parking citations. These citations have an outstanding uncollectible debt of $276,634.25."
Currently there are 627 tickets older than one year. There are 7,630 tickets older than five years totaling $229,914.25 with the fines and penalties.
The purpose stated in the Town's "Policy for Write-Off of Uncollectible Accounts Receivables" is, "The desired end result... to have a fairly presented valuation of accounts receivable in the Town of Carolina Beaches' financial statements."
The policy applies to parking citations as well as water, sewer, storm water and trash bills but not Special Assessments such as those levied against real estate.
The Town's policy kicks in when all collection procedures allowed by law have been conducted without results or if the Town deems an account receivable to be uncollectible when one or more of the following circumstances exists:
1. Expired statute of limitations: Debt has exceeded three-years or other applicable statutory limitation.
2. Bankruptcy: Account has been discharged through bankruptcy court.
3. Deceased: Debtor is deceased with no estate.
4. Court refuses judgment: The debt cannot be substantiated in court.
5. Unjustified Cost: Amount of uncollectible debt is less than $50 or the cost of collection would exceed recoverable amount.
6. Untraceable: Where customer has provided false identification, left the country, or otherwise cannot be located and/or a correct identity cannot be established.
Accounts receivables due from individuals of at least $50 will be submitted to the NC Department of Revenue for debt setoff debt proceedings at least once prior to write-off. Once the citations are written off the Town's financial records and no longer recognized as collectible for financial reporting purposes, the legal obligation to pay the debt will still remain. For Town utility bills, payment is required before establishing new service in Town.