To the editor: Blame the owner (for being supplied loopholes), or city blaming county blaming state blaming federal for allowing those controllable loopholes.

Local taxes, for example, city (property tax), school and county — all three of these taxes are combined into your semi-annual local tax bill. But, when increasing these taxes (caused by non-payers), they are voted on individually.

So what happens when you don’t pay this combined tax bill? Well, after Dec. 31, the unpaid amount due becomes delinquent and is sent by the city tax office to the county tax claims office for collection. The city accepts any amount from zero to the delinquent amount due to the city (most cases not the latter) from county tax claims after their penalties, charges and any fees are removed.

What’s next? Well, after two years of delinquent taxes, the county informs the owner that the home/property will be placed into an “upset sale,” where their home/property can be sold.

The owner then has three options to keep it from the sale: A. They can pay the bill in full; B.They can enter into an agreement with the county to pay installments (fault of a county agreement, the owner will be assessed thousands of dollars each year in taxes added toward their property and pay only $600 to $800 a year as installments with no end. If you’re not in the clique they will use the more strict state law as an agreement against you as they must everyone.)

When an owner used the property, all they’re worth, the owner will C. Let it fall back into the good taxpayers’ wallets to share the increased taxes covering owner’s non-payments along with good taxpayers paying to have another blighted property demolished.

Bill S. Miller


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