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Charlotte Foreclosure Homes Arise from Tax Delinquencies

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Charlotte foreclosure homes could arise from tax foreclosure actions in the coming months if Mecklenburg County tax officials use their foreclosure authority to force over 1,000 homeowners to pay their back taxes on around 1,299 properties.

According to the Mecklenburg County Office of the Tax Collector, these homeowners have not been paying their property taxes for the past 8 years or longer, posting a total of $6.6 million in unpaid taxes.

Despite the low percentage of the unpaid taxes compared to the $1.3 billion collected annually, elected officials have criticized the tax collectors and have called on them to find more effective ways to collect the unpaid taxes.

Susan Burgess, a councilwoman in Charlotte City, said that not doing anything to collect the unpaid taxes is unfair to residents who have been paying their taxes.

Similarly, County Commissioner Bill James said that the $6.6 million in uncollected taxes can do much to prevent more lay-offs in the county. He suggested that the tax collector should use the law that allows the tax department to seize delinquent properties and add them to lists of Charlotte foreclosure homes for auction. He explained that a credible threat would force taxpayers to pay what they owe the local government.

In response to the criticisms, Neal Dixon, tax collector of Mecklenburg County, explained in a memo sent to commissioners that his department has been able to collect 99 percent of all property taxes that need to be paid. He defended his performance by saying that there has been no large metro area which has achieved a collection rate of 100 percent. He reiterated that for a large metro jurisdiction like Mecklenburg, his department has been having a high collection rate.

Real estate taxes are among the biggest and most stable sources of revenues for cities and counties. Mecklenburg County has been the one collecting taxes in Charlotte and in other cities in the county.

Councilwoman Burgess and councilman John Lassiter raised the issue of uncollected taxes when they saw that the city needed more money to sustain services. James also received a complaint from a resident saying that an owner of an upscale condo has not been paying his real estate tax for 12 years.

Nonetheless, because of the current economic downturn, James has asked tax collectors to list only property owners who owed taxes for the past 8 years or longer in their list of owners whom they will threaten with foreclosure auction.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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