County to examine collection of late taxes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2004

Lawrence County Commissioners would like to see a new effort made to collect delinquent tax bills that total $20,000 or more.

They plan to ask Lawrence County prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. to do just that.

"We've got people who owe $20,000 in taxes," Patterson said, holding up a tax bill of $24,448 for one parcel of land. "We need to bring this to the attention of the county prosecutor. We've got school systems suffering, townships suffering."

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Commissioner Jason Stephens agrees.

"We need to take a stronger look at people who owe larger tax bills," he said. "This is something that needs to be taken care of."

Lawrence County Chief Deputy Auditor Chris Kline said he does not know how many people fall into the $20,000-and-above delinquency category, but said delinquent tax bills amount to more than $3.5 million.

"Current year's delinquencies are $986,958.86," Kline said. "Prior years' delinquencies are $2,524,561.29 and the current interest is $20,884.56."

Last year, Lawrence County officials filed suit against property owners who were delinquent three or more years on their taxes. The suit and ensuring tax sales brought more than $1 million.