Delinquent property taxes way up in Hancock Co. | News
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- In Hancock County, 7,100 pieces of property are on this year's delinquent property tax list. That's down a bit from last year's all time high of 8,300, but still a problem.
When property taxes go unpaid, owners risk losing their homes or investments, and the county loses money. That's why some of those properties will end up on the auction block.
"We usually bring about 6,000 parcels to publication. This year we brought 7,100 to publication," said Hancock County Tax Assessor-Collector Jimmy Ladner.
He said 50 pages of properties on the sale list is a sad sign of the times.
"It is concerning anytime you see more parcels going to the tax sale than normal. That shows that the economic times aren't improving as much as we'd like. That shows that money is tight and that's what we're seeing here," explained Ladner.
The unpaid taxes leave the county bank account short of the money it needs to keep running.
"This year it's just a tad over $3 million," Ladner said. "And that $3 million is tax revenue for all three school systems, both cities that are on the books now, as well as the county."
The tax sale in Hancock County is set for August 27th. Those behind on taxes still have time to pay before the property is auctioned.
"I would encourage people that if you can get in here and pay your taxes before they go to the tax sale, to do that because the interest and penalties are much more steep once they go to the delinquent side. It could cost you several hundred dollars more to redeem your taxes."
By the way, even after someone else pays the delinquent taxes, the original owner still has two years to come up with the taxes and interest to pay and retain control of the land.
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