Rappahannock County residents by now have likely opened their 2018 real estate and personal property tax bills, which are due Dec. 5, while dozens of others face a more formidable deadline.
“Notice of Intent to Sell Real Property for Delinquent Real Estate Taxes,” states the legal notice in the Sept. 20 issue of the Rappahannock News. “If not paid within 30 days after this publication, proceedings will be commenced in the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County . . . to sell the following parcels for payment of delinquent taxes.”
The notice goes on to list the names of grossly delinquent taxpayers and their corresponding tax map numbers. The tax evaders have until Oct. 20 to cough up what into 2017 amounted to $1.2 million-plus in uncollected taxes going back two decades.
Rappahannock County Treasurer Debra Knick, who in an earlier interview called the unpaid taxes “unacceptable,” told the Rappahannock News this week that the legal notice has spurred some of the tardy taxpayers into motion, some appearing at her office to determine exactly how much money is owed or even asking whether there might be potential buyers for the properties.
“That’s the goal,” Knick said. “The intent is that the owners of these properties will come forward and pay the taxes, so that we don’t have to proceed” with any judicial sale.
Owners shown to be in default may redeem their properties at any time before the date of the judicial sale by paying all accumulated taxes, penalties, attorney fees, interest, etc.
“Partial prepayment,” the county warns, “shall not be sufficient to redeem the property.”
Knick in recent days said she has been referring all delinquent taxpayers contacting her office to J. Daniel Pond III, special counsel with the Pond Law Group in Front Royal, who is overseeing the collection of overdue taxes — and short of that the future sale of properties in default.
Meanwhile, law-abiding taxpayers have until Wednesday, Dec. 5, to pay their 2018 real estate and personal property taxes, which were mailed out the week of Sept. 17.
“We have started to see tax payments,” said Knick, adding that by the end of last week 8 percent of all 2018 taxes had been collected. “Which was good, getting money in the door.”
This year’s tax bills, Knick noted, “reflect the increase in the tax rate. There was a one cent fire and rescue tax increase on the real estate and two cents for the actual tax levy. So it was an overall three cents tax increase for a total of seventy-three cents per one-hundred dollars of assessed value.”
There was no change in the 2018 personal property tax from last year.