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Drivers with unpaid traffic camera citations state tax return withheld

Drivers who haven't paid their traffic camera citations are seeing their state tax return withheld.

Last December, Cedar Rapids launched a program to encourage people to pay their traffic camera citations. Some residents are just now seeing the effects of this program.

Drivers who still have unpaid tickets from traffic cameras—like the ones on Interstate 380—could see their state tax return withheld.

"I found out that they were withholding our tax returns. My wife told me. We kind of looked into it and found out that that was the reason,” said Kyle Hoffman.

From 2014, Kyle Hoffman knew he had two traffic camera tickets to pay, but like many others he refused to pay it.

"I don't feel like that there was a proper due process when it comes to issuing those tickets," explained Hoffman.

When Hoffman opened his mail he found out the state withheld about $160 from his state tax return, but he wasn't all that shocked.

"I was able to find out that that process was going to happen before I received the letter in the mail," said Hoffman.

Last December, the city's collection agency sent out notices informing people of changes—including a 25% late payment penalty and a debt to the Iowa Income Offset Program.

"I think that a lot of people owed a ton of money and I think a lot of people in Cedar Rapids were affected in the same way,” said Hoffman.

While he's accepted the fact that for now his state income return is withheld, Hoffman is hoping city leaders will hear his ideas for the future.

"There are different ways that we can use to calm traffic and I think that we need to brainstorm as a community and figure out a better way to do that without monetizing the whole process,” said Hoffman.

CBS 2 News did reach out to city leaders, who tell us once people pay their fine they will be able to receive their tax return.

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