harlandaily.com

City tries to collect delinquent taxes

By Nola Sizemore nsizemore@civitasmedia.com

July 28, 2014

Collection of delinquent property taxes and unpaid privilege licenses highlighted a recent meeting of the Evarts City Council. Mayor Eddie Manning said nearly $23,000 in property taxes are delinquent and approximately $7,300 owed for privilege licenses remains unpaid.


Handing out a list of delinquent property tax home owners and businesses owing for privilege licenses, Manning said the city may want to take some different measures to collect those funds.


City Clerk Kristi Lamb told council members they have two choices, which includes turning these taxes over to the city attorney to put liens against the property for the taxes or selling the taxes out to a third party.


“I like the idea of selling the taxes out to a third party as long as we don’t sell the ones that are pretty current,” said Manning. “These companies who come in and buy these taxes stronghold people and they will get their money. If you owe $1,000, by the time they are through with you, you will owe them $3,000 or $4,000. But, if people haven’t paid in five years they have no intention of paying us. We understand when people fall into hard times, but five and six years is a long time.”


Councilman Larry Caudill suggested residents contact city hall and try to make “some type” of arrangement before they lose their property for taxes.


“Some of these bills have been ongoing for a long time,” said Caudill. “We know some of the people on these lists have had more than sufficient time to try and make some type of payment or arrangement. When are we going to take action to move forward on this, because it looks like a lot of them aren’t going to do anything more. I’m sick and tired of this and it’s not fair to other citizens who do pay their taxes.”


Manning said the city needs this revenue and everyone who owns property is required to pay taxes. He added population across the county is decreasing and revenue is being lost every time someone moves out of the area.


“We need to come up with a battle plan and stand united in what we decide to do,” said Manning. “I think the solution will be selling the taxes to a third party tax collecting company.”


Council members agreed to contact a tax collecting company with the idea of selling off delinquent property taxes owed to the city. They also agreed to post the list of names on the public access TV used in the area.


In other action, council agreed:


*To notify Sav-A-Lot Grocery to gather up their grocery buggies sitting around in different areas of the city;


*Let a mission group give away school supplies at their shelter in the city’s RV Park.


Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde