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The statute of limitations you are really looking for is the statute for the collection of the utility bill.
The franchise tax board has to respond to and verify a debt and initiate the offset up on receipt, similir to the same way the IRS must respond to the U.S. Trasury offset program.
From the langauge of the law (california code 12419.5):
Whenever insufficient to offset all amounts due state agencies, the amountavailable shall be applied in such manner as the Controller, in his or her discretion, shall determine. If, in the discretion of the Controller, the person or entity refuses or neglects to file his or her claim within a reasonable time, the head of the state agency owing the amount shall file the claim on behalf of that person or entity.
what this means to say is, that as long as the underlyhing statute of limitations for the utiltiy bill has not ran out, then the bill can still be submitted to the offset program.
What I need to know is, what utility bill exactly this was? electric, wate, sewer, etc?