Delinquent tax property down slightly

Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 10, 2012

Lincoln County residents with overdue property taxes must pay their delinquent bills by Aug. 24 or face having their property sold at public auction.

     Lincoln County Tax Assessor/Collector Rita Goss has released a list of all delinquent properties slated for auction. The list is appearing in today’s edition of The DAILY LEADER.

     For those whose property is among the listings, there is still time to pay the taxes and save the property from auction. Goss said all overdue taxes and late fees must be paid by Aug. 24 in order to avoid the land sale.

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     Goss said her office will only accept cash, cashier’s check or money order in payment.

     This year, 1,676 parcels are being advertised as delinquent for tax year 2011. That’s just below the total number of parcels originally advertised as delinquent last August, when the total was 1,681.

     The totals from the last two years show a slight upward movement from years before. The original delinquent totals in 2009 and 2008 were about 140 parcels less than the 2010 and 2011 totals.

     Goss acknowledged that turbulent economic conditions have created additional strains on everyone, particularly at tax time.

     “It’s hard on people out there. It’s rough,” Goss said. “So many don’t have jobs.”

     Goss said it’s possible there’s a connection between economic turbulence and the numbers of parcels that fall into delinquency every year, but she could not speculate as to whether such a direct correlation actually exists.

     Each year, taxpayers have until Feb. 1 to pay property taxes with no penalty.

     Following that deadline, the total tax bill increases by 1 percent every month until the taxes are paid. Goss said the end of July is the deadline to pay and avoid being listed in public listings of delinquent properties.

     This year’s final tax payment deadline of Friday, Aug. 24, will be followed by a public auction of the remaining delinquent properties on Monday, Aug. 27.

     People interested in bidding for any properties must go to the tax assessor/collector’s office and fill out a form and provide a business or personal tax identification number or a Social Security number, Goss said.

     Potential bidders may begin signing up on the Wednesday before the auction, Goss said. They can register all the way up to the day of the land sale, Goss said.

     Public listings of delinquent properties are scheduled to appear in The DAILY LEADER again on Tuesday, Aug. 21.