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Nine Tax Sales Scheduled In Chattooga County This Year

Collecting all the delinquent tax bills in Chattooga County is impossible, according to one official.
This county isn’t alone. Tax commissioners across Georgia often struggle to get people to pay.
Georgia’s Constitution empowers local officials to sell a person’s property if they don’t pay their property taxes.
Each year, tax commissioners across Georgia threaten or sell the property of delinquent taxpayers.
Local Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton advertised to sell 423 properties last year. However, once these properties ran in the newspaper, people began to pay. They opted to pay their delinquent taxes instead of Hampton selling them on the courthouse steps.
In fact, out of the 423 advertised last year, only 24 were sold.
This year the tax commissioner is planning nine more tax sales. They have been scheduled this year for the first Tuesday in the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October.
“I also plan to hold another judicial tax sale for large acreage tracts later this year, as those properties have to be handled differently than regular tax sales,” Tax Commissioner Hampton said.
“Any real property, personal property or mobile home bill for 2018 and prior that is not paid is subject to these tax sales. Currently, 2018 and prior collections are close to 99 percent collected, and I will be attempting to get all of those years as close to 100 percent as possible. Bankruptcies, deed discrepancies, and small lots that did not sell at prior tax sales make it impossible to get to 100 percent collection rates but sending the remaining properties to tax sale is my last resort to make the tax collections fair. If you have outstanding bills in your name, it is imperative that you reach out to my office to make arrangements to pay in order to avoid tax sale and further fees,” Hampton added.
Additionally, letters will begin to go out to property owners that have not paid their 2019 taxes in the next couple of weeks. These letters give notice that a bill is still due and subject to a tax lien being added and give 30 days notice for payment. The 2019 collections are at 91.34 percent as of last week.
“My goal is to see that number at 95 percent by the time the tax liens are added in April,” Hampton said. “I also want taxpayers to know that they are always welcome to contact me with any questions regarding tax bills or collections, and I appreciate the chance to serve as your tax commissioner. Nobody loves paying taxes, but it is my goal to make the collections fair and transparent.”

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