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Delinquent taxpayers put on notice

Lincoln County taxpayers who are late in paying their propertytaxes have until Aug. 26 to clear up any delinquencies before theirparcels will be put up for grabs to any bidders interested inpurchasing the properties.

Advertising for the delinquent parcels begins today on page 1Bof the newspaper.

Every year, people have until Feb.1 to pay their property taxeswithout any penalties. After that, there’s a 1 percent increase permonth until they are paid in full.

To be kept out of delinquent notice, taxes had to be paid byJuly 29. In addition to the 1 percent per month penalties, at thispoint there is a printing charge of $1.50.

“A lot of people will have it paid off between the first run inthe paper and the second run,” said Lincoln County TaxAssessor/Collector Nancy Jordan.

The owners of the advertised parcels will have until Aug. 12 ifthey want to keep their land out of the classifieds section for thesecond run, which is on Aug. 19. The printing charge for the secondrun is $3.

“All taxes must be paid by Aug. 26 to avoid inclusion in theland sale that takes place Aug. 29,” Jordan said. “The onlyacceptable payments after July 15 are cash, certified check, moneyorder or credit card.”

Those interested in bidding on parcels at the land sale mustregister at the tax assessor’s office annex behind the LincolnCounty-Brookhaven Government Complex to receive their “bidder’snumber.”

“We have started the registration for bidders, although no onehas come in yet to bid,” said Deputy Tax Assessor Becky Dixon onFriday. “Bidders either have to have cash or a certified letterfrom their bank saying they will back the bidder up on anypurchases made at the land sale.”

Persons interested bidding must fill out a W-9 tax form at thetax office and provide a Social Security number or taxpayer ID anda phone number.

The number of delinquent parcels in Lincoln County for 2010 is1,681. This number is 142 more than 2009, when 1,539 delinquentparcels were advertised. In 2008, the number of delinquencies atthe first run was 1,545.

“The number of delinquent parcels fluctuates from year to year,”Jordan said. “There’s really no steady increase or decrease.”

Dixon suggested that the country’s financial state over the pastfew years might have a responsibility for the number of unpaidtaxes for 2010.

“I think it’s just because of the economy,” she said. “Peoplejust can’t afford it.

“Also, if someone was delinquent in their 2009 taxes, they stillhave to clear those up before they can begin to pay the 2010taxes,” Dixon continued.

Regardless of the numbers or the reasons why, Dixon maintainedJordan’s experience that people do not like to see their names andland being advertised in the paper.

“After seeing their names in the paper the first run, mostpeople who can come pay it off,” Dixon said.