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Commissioners concerned over tax write-offs

JACKSON – The Northampton County Commissioners were concerned about the appearance of some names on the list of tax bills written off for 1996.

Tax Administrator Kathy Allen appeared before the board to inform them that $11,996.18 had been written off for tax bills from that year.

“It looks like a lot of the same people,” Commissioner Fannie P. Greene (D-5th) said.

Commission Chairwoman Virginia D. Spruill (D-2nd) asked Allen what would be done in that case.

Allen said many of the people who appeared on the 1995 write off and then again for the 1996 tax schedule were people that couldn’t be found.

“A lot of this is heir property,” she said.

Spruill asked if there was anything that could be done in cases of heir property and Allen said the county could foreclose on the property if they knew where it was.

“We try to foreclose on any real estate,” County Attorney Charles Vaughan advised. “Sometimes minor property with heirs all over the country, you spend more in advertising than the property is worth.”

Vaughan said the county had to make a determination if the property in question would offset the cost being spent to recoup it.

Greene then said she knew $11,000 sounded like a lot of money, but she didn’t think it was if you looked at the overall county budget.

“It is far less than one percent,” Allen said.

In other tax business, Allen

* got approval for the 2007 Market Value Schedule to be publicized and a public hearing held;

* received the same approval for the 2007 Use Value Schedule; and

* was approved to release just over $700 in ad valorem taxes which were assessed incorrectly.