Local entities adopt new delinquent tax rules

Published 1:13 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

A plan to fast track the sale of property for delinquent taxes is on the books.

Currently, property is sold through a sheriff’s sale but not all property on the delinquent tax rolls is sold the first time around. This results in extra costs in administrative time and in publication.

To reduce the cost, taxing entities are adopting amendments that allow Jefferson County to sell property at a private sale to any bidder deemed to offer a reasonable price but only after the tract has been through at least one sheriff’s sale, according to information from the city of Port Neches.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Port Neches adopted the amendment to their contract for collection and assessment services with the county during a recent meeting.

“This facilitates the disposal of property once it has been through the sheriff’s sale and has not been sold,” Port Neches City Manager Andre Wimer said, adding this creates an opportunity for the tax office to dispose of the property without subsequent sales.

Joanie Griffiths, office manager with the law firm of Linebarger Googan Blair & Sampson LLP, said the issue of delinquent property isn’t a problem in either Port Neches or Nederland but in other areas of the county.

“After twice (trying to sell the property) a citizen can approach the jurisdiction,” Griffiths said.

Allowing the sale to go through this way put the property back on the tax rolls and saves the county money.

Griffiths said they are just starting to get the county’s taxing entities on board and the idea was proposed before Christmas.

In addition, local taxing entities are adopting a resolution authorizing the county to collect business personal property taxes and imposing a penalty for delinquent taxes as authorized by the tax code.

Taxes, she explained, come out at the end of the calendar year and if not paid, becomes delinquent on Feb. 1. Collection will begin as early as April 1 on business property.