- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - House members are having second thoughts about bills that would allow governments and hospitals to seize state income tax refunds to pay debts.

The Mississippi House voted 75-41 to reject House Bill 1154, which would have allowed hospitals to seize the tax refunds using the state Revenue Department. Hospitals can already garnish wages and seize property after getting a court judgment, which would have been required to take tax refunds.

Leaders shelved a second bill to let state and local governments seize tax refunds for debts. That could have allowed cities to take refunds for unpaid traffic tickets and counties to take refunds for garbage fees.

Opponents say it’s too harsh to take a debtor’s refund. Supporters say people should pay their bills.

Both bills could return for further consideration.

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