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Some Va. vehicles to get boot if taxes go unpaid

Saturday - 6/22/2013, 7:45am  ET

WASHINGTON - If you owe taxes and own a car or a truck in Manassas Park, look out.

Because of tough economic times, regions in the greater Washington area are using different methods to try to collect back taxes from residents.

Winnie O'Neal, treasurer for the City of Manassas Park, says the city is using a Smart Boot license plate recognition system to get residents to pay up. She says the program was supposed to start on June 12, but was delayed by a week to June 19.

Manassas Park has turned over its collection of back taxes, totaling more than $850,000, to Taxing Authority Consulting Services, a law firm.

"They've sent out delinquency notices to people who are ‘boot eligible' to let them know to pay their taxes before their vehicle gets booted," O'Neal says.

The city has also sent delinquent tax notices to more than 1,100 residents who owe outstanding taxes, she says.

If a person does get booted, it will cost $150 to get the boot removed, in addition to any taxes owed. If a boot is not removed within three days, the car will be towed and eventually sold.

O'Neal says if someone is delinquent on their taxes by $200 or more, they can try to work out a payment plan with TACS, but that must precede the boot.

A notice applied to vehicles with boots will provide residents with information on how to make payments, O'Neal says. Once the payment is made, the resident gets a pass code that immediately releases the boot.

The City of Fredericksburg has been using the Smart Boot since 2008 for both collecting taxes and collecting ticket payments. The Smart Boot is used in 17 regions across the U.S., including Richmond, Prince George's County and Montgomery County.

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