Municipalities in Nova Scotia weren’t having much luck tracking down bad debt, so they’re turning to the province to help them out.
The province’s debt-management division, made up of about 35 staff members, will now be in charge of going after unpaid municipal bills. This includes utility bills and bylaw infractions.
Municipalities hope this will help them track down some of their combined $8 million in outstanding fines. The province has a 60 per cent success rate in tracking down unpaid debt. It will charge municipalities a 15 per cent fee on recovered debt, which is half as much as private debt collectors can charge.
The province has various measures it can use, such as not allowing people to renew automobile licences if they have unpaid traffic tickets.
In HRM, much of the unpaid debt comes from bylaw infractions, but the single biggest gap is skipped business occupancy taxes.