County Treasurer Knick seeing to fewer delinquent taxpayers

More than 95 percent of 2018 taxes paid through December

$100,000 increase in delinquent tax collections over last year

First it was the impressive number — the highest since 1966 — of Rappahannock voters casting ballots in a November midterm election. Now, county residents have improved even further in the category of civic duties: paying taxes on time.

“Ninety-five-point-two (95.2) percent on current year [2018] real estate tax collection, and that’s where we get the majority of the revenue,” says Rappahannock County Treasurer Debra Knick. “That was through the end of December], so I’m very happy with that.

“In December 2017, we ended at 92 percent.”

Knick predicts that by June 30, 2019 “somewhere between 97 and 98 percent” of 2018’s assessed taxes will have been collected by her office. Residents who didn’t pay taxes by Dec. 5, 2018 will see a 10 percent penalty assessed on their next statements.

“We will be sending out delinquent tax notices in February,” says the Treasurer. “So everybody who is delinquent will be receiving a pink notice from us. It will have a statement that will show all the delinquencies, 2018 and prior years as well.”

As for delinquent taxpayers, Knick spent much of last year spreading the word — including through articles and paid notices in this newspaper — that the county is finally cracking down on the tax dodgers, going so far as to hire a law firm in 2018 to arrange the collection and public auction of specific Rappahannock properties in arrears.

Her warnings are paying off.

“Through December 17, we had a $100,000 increase in delinquent tax collections over last year [2017], and that was a 3 percent increase in delinquent tax collection,” Knick reveals. “I attribute that to articles and exposure in the paper.

“I still do not have a date when the [first] auction will be,” she says. “Properties will be determined from the list of delinquent taxes that was in the [Rappahannock News] paper on September 20 [“Notice of Intent to Sell Real Property for Delinquent Real Estate Taxes”] and the first auction will comprise of some of those properties.

“Which properties those will be and the date of that I have not received notification from Daniel Pond,” she says, referring to the special counsel of Pond Law Group, PC, in Front Royal.

The first of potentially two auctions per year will commence through the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County, and surround the most grossly delinquent of taxpayers who had until Oct. 20, 2018 to cough up what at a previous count amounted to $1.2 million-plus in uncollected taxes going back two decades.

Sufficient notice will be provided to both delinquent property owners and Rappahannock residents as to when the first auction will take place, including through legal notice, advertisements, the county website, even physical signs placed alongside properties to be auctioned.

About John McCaslin 375 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.

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