Names of delinquent taxpayers to be published in March

Last updated: February 17. 2014 8:09PM - 1153 Views
By Keith Strange kstrange@civitasmedia.com

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DOBSON — County residents who haven’t paid their property taxes due in January could soon find their name in print.

During its meeting Monday night, the Surry County Board of Commissioners unanimously gave approval for the county’s tax department to advertise unpaid property taxes in the local newspaper.

The action came as the board met for its regularly scheduled meeting in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room of the County Government Center in Dobson.

In placing the request, county Tax Administrator Michael Hartgrove told the board that the move is an annual event.

“Each year, the tax collector must report to the governing body the total amount of unpaid taxes for the current fiscal year that are liens on real property as of Feb. 1,” he said.

State law requires that subsequent to the report, the board “must order the tax collector to advertise the tax liens.”

According to Hartgrove, the county had $2,123,290 in unpaid taxes as of the first of the month.

Addressing the request Monday night, Assistant Tax Administrator Lisa Brannock told the board that the unpaid taxes will be advertised the week of March 17.

The total uncollected taxes for 2012-2013 that were advertised were $2,494,864.

“This year is a little bit less than last year, not a great deal, but it’s pretty close,” Brannock said.

As of January, the county had collected $26,935,693, or 91.2 percent, of the total levy of $29,530,604, she said.

“What’s involved here is our real property taxes,” Brannock said.

Monday night’s move gave approval to the tax department to place liens against the property with outstanding taxes, but Brannock noted that the advertisement tends to get people to open their wallets.

“You do get a lot of attention when you advertise people’s names,” she said. “It’s unfortunate (to have to place the names in the newspaper), because we offer a lot of options for people to make those payments.”

In other business, no one spoke during a public hearing on a proposal to close out a Community Development Block Grant for the county’s Van Hoy Way housing development project.

The project involved a $90,000 grant, of which $9,000 was budgeted for administration and $81,000 was budgeted for street improvements, according to County Planner Kim Bates.

Of those totals, Bates said just $3,785 of the administrative funding was spent, while the county spent $79,697 on street improvements to 700 linear feet.

Following the hearing, the board unanimously authorized Bates’ department to close out the grant.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.

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