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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

A single federal enforcement tool collected $13.4M in delinquent child support payments for Idaho kids last year, $71.5M since 2010

The U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service has released its annual report today on the Treasury Offset Program, or TOP, Delinquent Debt Collection’s work in 2014. Never heard of it? Among its findings: Idaho recovered $13.4 million in delinquent child support payments through the program in 2014. Since 2010, the federal-state partnership program has collected $71.5 million in delinquent child support payments for Idaho.

The Treasury Offset Program helps states collect delinquent child support payments, state income tax obligations, unemployment insurance compensation fraud debts and more, mainly by tapping federal income tax refunds and other federal payments to the delinquent payers. Fiscal Service Commissioner Sheryl Morrow said, “The simple premise of the offset program is that Treasury should not pay those individuals or businesses that have failed to meet their government obligations without first applying that money to the delinquent obligation.”

However, the TOP program is one of the federal tools for child support enforcement to which Idaho would lose access if it doesn’t conform its state laws to federal regulations by June 12 – the reason why Gov. Butch Otter has called lawmakers back to Boise for a special session on May 18. It’s just one of an array of federal tools Idaho taps to enforce child support orders for Idaho kids. “That would be part of those federal tools that we would no longer have access to,” said Idaho Department of Health & Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr. “All of that would end if we’re not in federal compliance.” You can see the full 2014 report here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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