ASSEMBLY, No. 2933



DATED: JULY 3, 1997



      Assembly Bill No. 2933 of 1997 directs the Department of Treasury to use the Set-Off of Individual Liability (SOIL) program to collect delinquent payments of restitution and assessments owed to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) by persons convicted of crimes. The SOIL program deducts debts owed State agencies and arrears child support payments from income tax refunds and homestead property tax rebates.

      Information is sketchy as to the amount of VCCB restitution and assessments outstanding that might be subject to collection through the SOIL program. The Governor’s Management Review Commission in 1992 estimated the State is owed over $150 million in past due payments for court-imposed criminal fines, penalties and assessments, which include VCCB assessments and restitution.

      Although the outstanding VCCB debt is sizable, collections by the SOIL program under the terms of this bill are likely to be limited. Information provided by the SOIL program indicates that only about 25 percent of its current debtors receive income tax refunds or homestead rebates from which their debts may be deducted. VCCB debtors are less likely than the general population to receive income tax refunds or homestead property tax rebates. Many of them have a spotty employment history or are serving prison terms. Another limiting factor is the statute governing SOIL, which requires arrears child support payments to take precedence over all other debts.

      Although information is lacking on which to base a reliable estimate, the Office of Legislative Services concludes enactment of this bill could result in a modest increase of VCCB revenues.

      This legislative fiscal estimate has been produced by the Office of Legislative Services due to the failure of the Executive Branch to respond to our request for a fiscal note.


This fiscal estimate has been prepared pursuant to P.L.1980, c.67.