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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, February 2, 2001

Back taxes can be
taken from paycheck

Question: I owe back taxes to the state and they contracted a collection agency. Can that collection agency withhold 100 percent of my paycheck without any legal procedures or paperwork?

Answer: Yes, your entire net pay for one pay period could be taken, but it's not the collection agency that gets the money.

The state Department of Taxation does contract with private collection agencies, which are then empowered to act on behalf of the department. They are allowed to serve a "notice of levy" on a third party, such as a financial institution or an employer.

A "notice of levy" is not a garnishment.

"A garnishment, or garnishee, is on state employees and the amount taken is limited to 25 percent per pay period until the specified amount is paid in full," according to tax officials.

A "notice of levy," on the other hand, is attached to an employee's pay for the amount of delinquent taxes owed, less state and federal payroll taxes and any court-ordered payments.

This means the levy could be for the entire net pay for that period, officials said. The levy is a one-time occurrence, however.

"The employer should not withhold any monies from future pay periods unless the employer receives another notice of levy," officials said.

If you have any more questions, contact the specific collector assigned to your account.

Q: Whom do I contact regarding illegal possession and destruction of public property? A resident has placed about six hollow-tile bricks on the shoulder of the roadway of our street and inserted iron rods to prevent anyone from removing the bricks. The rods are pounded into the pavement. His trash receptacle is always placed next to the bricks. What is upsetting is that this person is not a resident of our street, which is located to the immediate rear of his home. For some reason, he has decided to use it for trash pickup vs. the front of his home.

A: There are two city agencies to call. Regarding the bricks and rods, call William Deering of the city Housing Code Section at 527-6308.

Regarding placement of the trash container, call the collection yard for your district, which would be the Aiea-Pearl City-Ewa yard, 455-9644 or 455-8502.

Unless the Refuse Division says otherwise, you should place your trash container in front of your house, said refuse collection Administrator David Shiraishi. He cited the law relating to refuse collection, specifically: "lateral location for each owner's refuse within the sidewalk area shall be limited to the street frontage abutting the owner's property or where approved by the division."


To an angel in blue, HPD officer "Gumby" out of the Pearl City station for helping me late one night in early January on the side of the H-2 freeway. He helped me get my car up and running so that I didn't have to leave it there overnight. What a good Samaritan he was. I wish him and his family a very happy new year. -- A very thankful driver


To Billy in 3700 block of Sierra Drive who helped my husband and me when our car broke down. He let us use his cell phone to call AAA and gave my husband a ride home. -- Nancy Heck


Belatedly, to the person who turned in my handbag left in a shopping cart to Kahala Longs on Nov. 24. May you be blessed with the spirit of the holiday season throughout your life. -- Scatterbrained

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to

E-mail to City Desk

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