Delinquent taxes owed hovers at $11 million

Seventy percent of that cut from local schools by property owners who don't pay.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 21, 2013

 

WHAT: Nearly 2,300 — 5 percent of all parcels in Erie County — are tax delinquent, translating to almost $10.7 million owed to the county treasurer's office. Close to half the parcels and the amount owed is in Sandusky.

HOW: The amount primarily accumulates when debtors fail to pay their property taxes.

IMPACT: The people hit hardest from delinquent debtors are children in area school systems. Anywhere from 60 percent to 70 percent of the county tax is earmarked for public school districts. To offset the loss, school officials have cut programs, staff and services.

The city and Erie County are riddled with abandoned properties and properties owned by people who cannot — or will not — pay taxes owed. 

County officials are ramping up efforts to collect that debt. 

"We are trying to maximize our collection," Erie County assistant prosecutor Jason Hinners said, who monitors the delinquent properties. "We are putting such an emphasis on going after these properties because we understand the schools and other jurisdictions need this money."

Get Thursday's Register for to learn about the other efforts to collect debt. Click here to subscribe to the ePaper or for home delivery.

Comments

donutshopguy

Isn't a member of the Margaretta Board of Education delinquent on his property tax? Hasn't this situation been going on for years?

Isn't it rather ironic that schools complain about no money but those in charge are the biggest offenders ? Talk about a double standard.

Perkahontas

I thought you moved away?

Doug7880

Yes you are correct. One property of the 10 is behind in the amount of around $20,000.00. He and the school board are WELL aware of this problem. The local news paper has been made aware of this and choose to ignore what is put in front of them. It might be time to take this problem to another level. STOP ASKING FOR MORE IF YOU ARE NOT PAYING YOUR SHARE. Oh one other thing both he and his wife get a paycheck from the school system. How much of a slap in the face is that to the taxpayers.

Ithink

His wife owns Champion Cheer and she is the cheerleading advisor. If you want to be a cheerleader at Margaretta, you have to commit to joining the Champion Cheer team and pay something like $500. What a racket!! It's no wonder that being a Margaretta Cheerleaders is a big joke- those girls are awful, but their parents forked out the money.

Doug7880

You are also correct. That was approved by the school board while her husband was President of the school board. This is just some of the problems we have here in this school system. But with only one person on the board that will speak up for what is right for the kids NOTHING will change. I am known to the school board as a trouble maker and don't have the last name in this area to get on the board. I guess it will just be my place to be the one that will speak my mind and I will no matter the names they assign me.

Ithink

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

wiredmama222

@Ithink....how would YOU know what goes on in ANY executive session of any school board let alone come on here and name names like this? You believe you have the right to expose people's PERSONAL business like this? Who do you think you are???? This really isn't the place to do this sort of thing and you really do NOT have the right to do this at all. How dare you come on a PUBLIC session and expose PRIVATE information like this about someone. Do you even understand WHY boards hold executive sessions?????? Apparently not or you won't be doing what you are doing right now. How inappropriate can you be?

Doug7880

this is the property that has the past taxes due and that is just one.

Doug7880

Guess who paid MOST of his taxes TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wiredmama222

@ I think....Excuse me the girls are NOT awful, they have won a great many first place trophies and continue to do so. I wouldn't call that awful...so your opinion is just that....YOUR opinion and not a fact! They are going to a huge championship in May in Orlando Florida to compete in a national championship. The cost is a lot, but they also learn a lot. Their precision is very, very good...apparently enough to WIN BIG, so learn facts before you critize something you obviously don't know much about.
My granddaughter is one of them. They work very hard to be that good.

Besides that, the delinquent taxes has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with those girls ability to cheer at contests, now does it? So what was your point in the first place except to try and degrade a bunch of hard working teenagers who work very hard to be the best they can at what they are doing?

Doug7880

The girls are good at what they do that goes without saying. The problem is that she requires them to take the classes (pay her money) or they can't be on the team. Why then with all that extra income why can't they pay the tax bill ON TIME and then keep asking others to pay MORE. I do have a problem with that.

wiredmama222

@doug....her tax bill has NOTHING to do with the quality of what she teaches, the girls she works with or anything that has to do with Margaretta cheer...that is MY point. Yes, what she makes should pay her taxes, but that is HER business and has nothing to do with the quality of her work with the girls she teachers. It makes me BOILING mad to see anyone try and mix the two. They have nothing to do with each other.

What mistakes she makes with her money and her husband makes with his are THEIR money mistakes....nothing more or less and has nothing to do with cheer, the kids or her business. To join the two is just ignorance.

Doug7880

The problem is that they both receive a check from the school system that the property taxes that they continue to pay LATE for more than the past 5 years or more. Not only that but he keeps asking everyone to pay more. Don't ask for more if you can't pay yours on time. If they continue paying taxes late stop cashing your pay checks. Better yet stop giving them one.

Outspoken1

If they spent half as much time collecting property taxes as they do child support, they would have their money.....

PaulYall

Well you know if folks were working and making a half way decent wage they could afford there taxes that was supposed to be paid when then civil war was paid for!! Wake up people!!! Sending our tax dollars over seas when we can't even keep our own lights on..let alone our own refrigerators full! There is gonna be another Revolutionary War here in America! You watch and see! Maybe not in my time but there will be!

Phil Packer

I might be wrong, but I would bet a lot of these properties are rentals, or were rentals. They become uninhabitable, and the owners decide to abandon them. I think that you should have to have a license or something to be a landlord, or somehow be more accountable than they are now.

wiredmama222

@paulyall....AMEN about sending out money overseas. We could feed all of our homeless on what we send overseas, shelter most of them and put half our kids through college on what we send to Isreal alone. I totally agree with you. When we stop sending out money OUT we could save our own country.

8ballinthesidepocket

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Perkahontas

Yeah! A huge percentage of people on public assistance are property owners...

luvblues2

We all know that everyone in jail makes money? What planet do you live on?

Joker

No top ten list for this story? Ten highest amounts owed, ten longest times since taxes were paid etc...

007

Let's see I believe Kevin Baxter would be at the top of the list as he skated to the tune of over $200 thousand dollars when Fantozz allowed him to sell his Island Rocket boats even though he owed said amount and to let him keep the monies from selling the boats so the county forgave the amount owed. Ah yes only in Erie County!!

man4451

A TOTAL shame, that ERIE county, WE can not BUY homes from Delinquent TAXES like OTHER states. I bet this problem would be paid ReaL fast.

wiredmama222

@man4451....AMEN. In other states, if you go 2 years and don't pay your delinquent taxes, the tax man can put your property up for sale. Someone can buy it for the delinquent taxes and good bye property. I bet these deadbeats would pay up really fast if faced with THAT proposition! See how fast most of these people, faced with losing their precious property, were to pony up the cash, if they thought they might lose the land!!!

Why not here? They do it elsewhere? And it works out well. At least the property tax money comes rolling in one way or the other.

Cowboy

Someone needs to find this list and post it so everyone can see who the losers are!

SamAdams

I understand that there are some who, especially these days, may not be able to afford their taxes. If that's the case, they they need to downsize or maybe rent for awhile. man4451 is right: Those properties should be sold in the hopes of making up at least some of the loss as well as getting a more likely property tax income from them in the future.

As for those who CAN afford to pay the taxes and choose not to, well, yes: Haul their behinds to court and garnish wages, seize assets, whatever. Regardless, it seems to me something of a perfect storm here consisting of at least some irresponsible property owners, and more than a few irresponsible government employees who aren't jumping on the situation BEFORE somebody gets $20,000 behind!

The Big Dog's back

C'mon you teabaggers, ante up.

SamAdams

REALLY, Dog? I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of delinquent taxpayers in the county DON'T identify with the Tea Party. And as for me (who DOES identify with the Tea Party), my taxes aren't delinquent. How about you?

deertracker

Since you are a Teabagger, tell your fellow teabaggers to pay up. Where is all your righteous comments now that the finger is pointed in your direction? How nauseating!!!!!!!!!!!

The Big Dog's back

Yes, really sam. How many poor people on welfare ACTUALLY own their home? Not very many. It's your teabagger friends trying to beat the system and cheat our children.

SamAdams

Are you suggesting that only poor people on welfare are Democrats? Or that only the richest are opposed to being taxed to death? Interesting...

As far as "teabaggers" or anybody else trying to "beat the system" and "cheat our children," I'm not playing favorites. I don't care WHAT political affiliation or ideology those delinquent taxpayers may have. They need to pay up! And if they truly CAN'T pay up, they need to get out until they can get back on their feet while they let somebody who CAN pay take over.

The Big Dog's back

Where did I mention political affiliations? I look at the tea party as a disease, not political. And tell me, how did you came up with "poor people on welfare are Democrats" out of what I said? Tea baggers do not want to pay taxes, any taxes. They want all the bennys but not have to pay for anything.

8ballinthesidepocket

Now that has to be the dumbest most naive comment yet!

Now The Rest of...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

The Bizness

Yup because that is exactly what the local government does with your property tax

Good one

Cowboy

Can't fix stupid!

Now The Rest of...

For you experts on goverment funding,, department of human services, staffed by COUNTY employees, FUNDED by COUNTY, state & federal governments.
You can't fix stupid, but you should at least try.

The Bizness

Did you read the article and see what the majority of property tax money goes too?

Now The Rest of...

Of the remaining 30%-40% much of that goes to the county and property tax is the largest single source of revenue for the county, which includes human services which is one of the largest budgeted agencies in the county.

8ballinthesidepocket

Now you're talkin!!!!

grandmasgirl

I think that some of these people are on welfare. If they can't afford food, heat, etc, how can they afford taxes. If you take their house away, we will just be paying their rent, and that is more than their annual taxes. I can't believe that you can file for bankruptcy and still own your own home. Talk about a slap in the face to people you owe money to!

Cowboy

Whatever!

deertracker

Some of you people are downright hilarious!!! Do you really think a property owner is on welfare? Get real. These people that owe have money. The reason they have money is because they do not pay their taxes and probably lots of other things. I say until the "powers that be" get on their job and start collecting, every single levy of any kind should be voted down. If most of the homes are rentals, guess who is not current on their taxes? I bet they collect the rent monthly. Most of you on here that sit in judgment of the less fortunate are actually worse because they need the help and some of YOU are just doing whatever you can to beat the system. In response to grandmasgirl, Cowboy said it best...."whatever" or WTF-ever!

grandmasgirl

I might be hilarious, but I know for a FACT that people can be on welfare and still own a house. The house was left to the person when the father died. All you have to do is go to the auditor's site and you can see what taxes are owed on a house. Not all people who owe taxes are rich. If you want to think that I am hilarious, go ahead. I am also right.

deertracker

Who said all homeowners are rich? Does the auditor's office also tell you who is on welfare? You are not right, you are wrong. Tell me where to go to find out that a delinquent taxpayer is also on welfare!

Left Sandtown

For what it is worth people,the state I live in,you can not obtain your driving rights unless your personel property taxes are current.God Bless you all.

Doug7880

Great idea

Left Sandtown

Thanks Doug,the community I live in(60,000)we have 3-city pools,very clean and family friendly,also the community provides,children and adult recreational programs 6-7 days a week yeat long,softball,volleyball,horseshoes,basketball,well you get the idea.here as well our business pay a small yearly fee to be placed on what is like a credit card,then you as a resident pay a small fee(5.00) to have card and recieve discounts at these merchants,works well.God Bless.

MiddleRight

Fixing the problem is very simple, but it can only be accomplished through the state legislature. Make everyone who has a lone, including businesses, escrow their property taxes. Banks end up paying the back taxes after they sell foreclosed properties anyhow. If you pay cash, and don't pay your RE taxes, the county should be able to turn your account over to the State of Ohio so that they can collect them.

There would not be a problem with late RE taxes anymore, and everyones schools would collect the funds due to them.

Truth or Fiction

I love how this paper puts out a story that does not completely relay the facts. The Fact is that deliquent property taxes by statute must go through a series of steps before the property can be seized and sold at Sheriff's auction. These series of steps require notifications, time sequencing, appraisals, etc. The result is better than a year before any action takes them to forfieture of the property by legal means. Some play this game and then pay right before the barn door closes and then repeat the process all over again. Unfortunately, the article makes it sound like it is just a matter of the county notifying and collecting.

Julie R.

I think your hilljack courts should go after Baxter for that $200K he owes.

8ballinthesidepocket

Stop grinding your Baxter axe already. Tired of hearing you whining and sniveling about Baxter this and Baxter that! Give it a break already!!

Julie R.

To reiterate --- I think your hillbilly courts should go after your prosecutor for that $200K he owes.

Darwin's choice

Agree!

deertracker

Agreed!!!!!!!

Katelih-Trailer...

Agree!!

shoreline dude

I think the driver license idea is a great way to get people to pay their real estate taxes. The Government will do it if you don't pay child support and that is all for children. Something has to be done and soon! I hate paying taxes also and every time a levy comes up we try to pass it for what? The children! Get caught with no car insurance and they will take away your driver license, get caught again and you are going to jail! I love the idea if they would take your licence for not paying your taxes. Just putting your name in the paper does not seem to do any good. Make the elected people do their jobs that they ran for!

Darkhorse

A little over $4 million is owed to the Sandusky Schools out of the millions of delinquents taxes owed just in Sandusky alone, and the schools keep asking for levies to be passed. The school needs to make a call to the county and press them to collect what is owed to them and not press the taxpayer for more money.

wiredmama222

The driver's license idea is great. But in Ohio that still gives someone two or three years breathing room in Ohio which is unacceptable. I still like the two years and your property gets sold idea many states have.

They don't need to go through the rigamarow that is the notification/audit/appraisal/notification fiasco either. They simply notify, give thirty days and post because whatever the last tax was due on the property is what the going price is. You are notified by registered mail and three posted notifications in the paper. 30 days to pay and it goes up for sale. If someone pays the delinquent taxes it is theirs. Too bad...it sucks to be you if you didn't pay. How much simplier can that be. The taxes get paid and if you didn't do what you were supposed to, you lose the property. It works beautifully out west where most of these states are. They have few delinquent tax recordings. People are forever going to look up delinquent tax records to see what is available.

You can get bargins galore if you have the cash on hand....and it has to be cash. You cannot finance it. But the schools don't suffer either.

It would sure stop the deadbeats from taking advantage of a situation.

When banks used to escrow accounts for taxes and insurance you could pay your taxes each month and the bill went to the bank for payment each half. When the bank stopped doing it, people just stopped paying it because they forget to put their tax money away. Banks didn't want to be the go betweens anymore. But people needed to be more responsible for their own finances. Now their is a mess again. I just wonder how long before the banks start to take up escrow actions again? Since people can't seem to do this for themselves?

deertracker

My bank still does the escrow thing. People stop paying but not because they forget or don't have the money. They just don't want to pay. Think about this: most of the homes in Sandusky are rentals. Where does the actual homeowner live? Who suffers when they don't pay their taxes? The powers that be are the real ones at fault for not collecting the money.

whocares

Lets pass more levies so people can get further behind

Julie R.

If the hick courts in Erie County could force property in Huron that was owned scot-free and clear of a mortgage for almost 40 years with never any back taxes owing to be sold at a scam sheriff sale just so their modern-day Bonnie & Clyde attorney friends and other idiots wouldn't have to follow the law i.e. acknowledge the fraud they committed on the property so it could be put back into the correct owner's probate estate and sold with a CLEAR TITLE, how could the hick courts in Erie County possibly force the properties of others to be sold at a sheriff sale for failure to pay taxes?

wiredmama222

In other states, they don't do a sheriff sale. They simply compile a list of all the properties that are two years behind on the tax bills. You go down to the court house and take a look for yourself. Then you drive past the property. Then you make your notice of intent to pay the taxes in full. The tax office sends a registered letter to the owners of the property. They have 30 days in which to pay the tax bill in full. If they don't, then YOU buy the property for the taxes.

You can then force the present property owners to either pay you or force the mortgage company to pay you or go into forclosure to pay you. That's that.

arnmcrmn

Merica...land of the free and hey if you don't want to work... Don't. Someone will take care of you.

deertracker

This is the perfect example of your brain on drugs!

Julie R.

Every week there's dozens of foreclosures in the paper. Stands to reason, if people can't make their house payments then they can't make pay their taxes, either. I'm curious to know who is buying all these foreclosures. Stories I've heard, some of them have gone to auction two, three and four times and nobody even bids on them.

Julie R.

On the flip side of the coin, when the Erie County courts and their ignorant attorney friends pulled off that scam to sell property with serious defects in the title at a sheriff sale, there were TWO people there bidding on it. One was a realtor .... and the other was one of the fraud power of attorneys that CAUSED the defects in the title.

(one couldn't even MAKE-UP the crap that goes on at that corrupt Erie County courthouse)

donutshopguy

Julie R.

The banks have a representative at the sheriff's sale. They will bid up to what they have invested in the property. Then if someone wants to bid more than they let it go. The bank still gets their money.

KURTje

Any rental(s) Metro? In the next county, a person got into deep stuff for his games & rentals. Hint some were Metro / translate OUR $$.