Unpaid taxes shoot up 3.4%
First increase in three years hits smaller properties, with 16.2% more tracts delinquent
Delinquent real estate taxes shot up 3.4% this year — the first increase in three years —as inflation and the recession impact property owners.
Most of the increase appears attributable to smaller properties, with 16.2% more tracts showing up on the delinquency list published in this week’s paper.
Peabody again led the county with the most delinquencies — 99 properties owing a total of $72,757.78.
Marion was next with 80 properties owing $57,763.83.
Florence had the third-highest number 69, but the fourth-highest dollar total, $28,183.50.
Hillsboro taxpayers, with the fourth-highest number of delinquent properties — owe the third-highest amount, $51,493.29.
Hillsboro also is home to the single largest delinquency, Hillsboro Properties LP, which owes $9,227.09 on Oakwood Apartments at 401 N. Ash St.
The limited partnership that owns the apartments is controlled by a series of other limited partnerships based in Oklahoma and Mississippi.
Its appraisal records indicate it was late in paying taxes for 2018 and 2019 as well, despite a 35.9% decline in assessed valuation in 2019.
A series of properties owned by Brent A. and Brenda L. Barkman or trusts in their names owes an even larger total — $12,548.51 — but it’s spread across several tracts.
Those properties include two homes in the Carriage Hills subdivision in Hillsboro and farms in Liberty, Riley, and Wilson Townships.
Appraisal records indicate that first-half taxes on those properties and previous-year taxes largely were paid although some have had past delinquencies.
Trusts linked to Kenneth J. Shields owe a total of $10,450.59 on four properties in Clear Creek Township and five in Lost Springs Township.
A trust linked to Gary W. Suderman owes a total $7,686.59 on five agricultural tracts in Grant Township and a farm home in Liberty Township. Most were delinquent once before, in 2018.
DELHI Enterprises, controlled by Kurt M. Coburn of Walsh, Colorado, owes $4,739.73 on a pair of duplexes in the 200 block of S. Lincoln St. in Hillsboro.
Despite a slight devaluation for 2021, both properties have been delinquent each tax year since 2016 and have unpaid taxes from 2020 as well as the latest year, 2021.
Although varying entity names make it difficult to be sure, these appear to be the largest delinquencies in the county.
The next largest delinquencies appear to be owned by the following taxpayers, several of whom are regularly on the delinquent taxpayer list:
- Terri Tucker, who owes a total of $5,580.58 on six Peabody properties — some of them vacant — on N. Walnut St.; E. Division St.; N. Locust St.; and N. Maple St. Taxes on each property are listed as unpaid for at least four previous years. The unpaid taxes are in violation of Marion County’s stated tax foreclosure policies but continue to occur.
- Joe Base, who owes $3,544.88 on a service station in Goessel, and with Katie Base owes an additional $1,647.77 on a farm and home on Alamo Rd. Both show as having no taxes paid in at least four previous years as well.
- Dirksen Construction, which owes $4,569.23 on a 1,950-square-foot, 2006 home on W. Main St. in Goessel. Previous year’s taxes also are unpaid, according to appraisal records, and the company paid its taxes late for at least four consecutive years.
- Ralph D. and Christine M. Bestvater, who owe $3,891.63 on two properties, including a 2,284-square-foot, 1916 home on Chisholm Trail Rd., on which taxes have been paid late three out of four previous years.
- Victor L. Buckner, who owes $3,700.95 on 1,444-square-foot, 2000 home on Ashley Dr. and an adjacent property in Marion. Three previous years of taxes on the same property also show up as unpaid on appraisal records.
The largest business delinquency other than those already listed appears to be Keith A. and Sherry L. Hess’s Wagon Wheel Express in Marion.
According to appraisal records, the popular café’s previous year’s taxes also are unpaid and taxes were paid late for four consecutive years.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of properties and total amounts delinquent countywide:
CITIES Properties AMOUNT
Burns 29 $ 11,720.39
Durham 4 676.31
Florence 69 28,183.50
Goessel 12 15,514.62
Hillsboro 46 51,493.29
Lehigh 19 7,922.68
Lincolnville 20 10,961.09
Lost Springs 17 3,798.12
Marion 80 57,763.83
Peabody 99 72,757.78
Ramona 16 6,164.10
Tampa 4 1,533.07
TOWNSHIPS Properties AMOUNT
Catlin 6 $ 3,955.85
Centre 6 4,175.82
Clark 2 2,585.21
Clear Creek 16 12,241.04
Colfax 1 115.22
Doyle 4 1,365.84
East Branch 2 849.85
Fairplay 4 711.74
Gale 6 3,781.89
Grant 6 5,371.11
Liberty 9 7,814.01
Logan 4 5,253.58
Lost Springs 12 7,061.57
Menno 5 4,447.46
Milton 3 3,081.38
Moore 1 18.99
Peabody 4 3,966.63
Risley 5 1,338.69
Summit 5 4,029.95
West Branch 7 10,457.33
Wilson 6 4,939.65
Overall, 529 tracts owe a total of $356,051.60 in 2021 property taxes.
Unpaid taxes become a lien against property and could result in forced sale of such.
The cost of publishing delinquency notices automatically is added to each taxpayer’s bill so the county does not have to pay that cost.
Delinquent taxpayers must pay interest starting at 9% and rising to as high as 15% for amounts of $10,000 or more.
County officials report that many taxpayers, who previously have ignored tax statements, often come forward to pay their bills after their names are published on the delinquency list in the newspaper.
Together, delinquencies delay the equivalent of roughly two mills of tax revenue for the county each year.