Another government entity with recurring collection headaches is the city of Greenwood. It has on its books about $2.8 million in unpaid fines assessed to misdemeanor offenders.

Recently, the city again tried an amnesty period, giving the guilty six weeks to pay up and avoid additional fines. It produced less than $12,000, a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars the city has been able to reap when it’s tried amnesty periods in the past.

Why didn’t the city do better? It may be that offenders have figured out that there’s not much the city legally can do to make them pay.

Adding more fines on top of unpaid fines is probably not the answer.

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