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1. What part of the property taxes were being paid between 2006 and the present, 2013 ?
2. What part of the property taxes are represented by the $14,000
3. How did you find out that past notices were being sent to your dad's PO Box ?
All taxes were paid in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 we didn't receive bill A2-52 which was $773.89, bill 0014-047 which was $36.63, bill A002-048 which was $417.85, and bill 0015-009 which was 324.69.2009: 0014-047 $36.62
2010: A2-52 $1034.72
2011: A2-52 $1027.47
2012: A2-52 $1051.38
All of the taxes were paid on everything but these 4 properties.
The tax commissioner told me the tax notices had been sent to his box and then returned to them. All of this should have been changed in 2006. We are talking about a very small town. She knew my dad was living with us and she had our address. If we had been sent a late notice the first year this happened we would have been so happy to pay it. I just don't understand why they let this go on for so long. All properties will be sold on Oct.1, 2013 if we do not pay $14,147.05.
1. I did a quick addition and got a total of $8,420, so the balance of approximately $5,600 represents interest and penalties ?
2. When you were told that the tax bills sent to the PO Box were returned to them, did you ask them why they continued to send them to the PO Box
3. I realize that the mistake was made by the Town in not checking for any change of address or transfer of title, but when you did not receive a bill for the 4 properties, for 4 years (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012) did you bring this to the Tax Collector's attention at any time before receiving a notice that the 4 properties were going to be sold at a Tax Sale ?
4. Did you ask the Tax Collector or Tax Commissioner to forgive the taxes since it was their fault you did not receive tax bills ?
We thought we were paying all the property taxes. Wheeler county is done by land lots. That is so confusing because there are so many notices. Example: My mom an dad's house is in the middle of 8 lots. I never even dreamed we were not getting all the notices.
The tax commissioner told me about the bills being returned this week. I didn't say anything because it caught me so off guard I was speechless.
We have met with the county commissioners and they are undecided as to what they will do. We have also met with the county attorney and we will talk to him tomorrow. Believe me, we would have paid what we owed had we only known. To answer your question again. We did not know we were not paying them all. We only found out a few weeks ago when we got a delinquent notice. We went to the office and were told my property was about at be auctioned off. It would not do any good to talk to the tax commissioner because she is under indictment for voter fraud.
I wish I could tell you that because the Town was not diligent in getting current addresses for property owners, that you would not have to pay the taxes, but I would be misrepresenting what is actually done and it would be unethical to mislead you into a false sense of security. However, I can offer you reasonable arguments for removing the interest, penalties, and any other fees they have added into the tax bills and you can present these arguments to the Town Attorney during your meeting.
1. The Town was remiss in not checking the public records for current ownership of the lots and had they done so, they would have seen that your dad conveyed the properties to you and they had your address;
2. You attempted to correct their Tax records several times by going there in person, starting with 2006 or 2007 by giving them the correct information as to ownership, yet they still failed to correct their records;
3. When the Tax Collector's Office received the tax bills returned to them, they should have realized that they were sending the bills to a wrong address, but they still did nothing to check their records to determine the owner of the properties, or if ownership had been transferred;
4. Presenting a bill that is almost double the actual amount of the taxes and expecting immediate payment is unconscionable;
You should also say that under the circumstances, you should be given a reasonable amount of time to pay and the Town should agree to enter into an Installment Payment Agreement. This type of Agreement is very common between Tax Collectors and property owners. Think of the amount of time that you will need to pay the taxes without the penalty, interest and other fees and set a number in terms of years which you will be comfortable with and present that during your meeting.
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