Bill would allow holding tax refunds over warrants

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A bill working its way through the House of Delegates would allow the state to withhold tax refunds from people with outstanding warrants.

Comptroller Peter Franchot joined sheriffs from across the state Tuesday in Annapolis to express his support for the measure.

The proposal would make a pilot program in Anne Arundel County statewide. As of Monday, nearly $470,000 in refunds has been withheld from more than 600 people with outstanding warrants in the county.

"This law screams efficiency and safety for all involved.  It is by far the most fiscally responsible way to reduce the number of outstanding warrants. I'm glad the entire state is embracing this concept," said Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ronald Bateman in a statement.

Darren Popkin, president of the Maryland Sheriffs Association, is among  those that support the bill.

"Maryland Sheriff's Offices and other law enforcement agencies need innovative techniques to reduce the pending criminal arrest warrant backlog while maintaining fiscal accountability,” he said in a statement. “The Maryland Sheriff's Association believes that this legislation will assist in achieving our goal of reducing outstanding warrants in an efficient and effective manner.”

Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County) is the sponsor of the bill.

“A warrant intercept program is a simple, efficient way to reduce the number of outstanding warrants in the state," said Kaiser in a statement.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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